You Are Annoying Your Customers. Do You Know Why?

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Today, marketers are working to increase communication channels from social media up to retargeting. In addition to it, they are increasing not just their sales but also their ability to irritate and annoy.

If you were to ask somebody what annoys them about technology, you are likely to get a rapid and fast answer. But the same question asked regarding why they get annoyed, the responses will not be as clear or fast. Repetitive Facebook ads, slow Internet connections, auto-correct etc are the things that annoy but why?

If marketers are to be successful and effective at their jobs, they need to devise how to increase sales while at the same time, minimizing levels of annoyance inflicted in this era of information overload and endless digital distractions.

Top of the annoyance list are norm violations or what can be called minor injustices. They are not specifically targeting you personally they, however, violate some standards you may hold. When certain standards that we have developed due to our heavy reliance on technology are not met, we tend to get annoyed and become frustrated. For example, if you invite people to a function where they cannot access Wi-Fi or internet connection during their extended stay, they will tend to get annoyed and frustrated, irrespective of all the other combined advantages associated with that specific venue. As a norm, people expect to have access to the internet if the setting is that it would be expected to have as a normal thing. Marketers need to maximize customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations and standard that customers have gotten used to.

For those doing online marketing, you would expect your customers to anticipate certain speed level because they probably have been accustomed to high speeds. Under normal circumstances, consumers would expect a web page to load within two seconds and that today is too long. Of course, loading time will vary because it may depend on media type being used. As a norm, people expect speed to be part of the deal and natural in coming when doing online business. To them, every millisecond is vital. This norm when violated leads to annoyance. For marketers, it is important to know that in online business, waiting is not friendly for both sides because people have become used to getting to their destinations rapidly on the twenty first information superhighway.

It is a fact that we all tend to easily get annoyed and frustrated at and with technology. This is because as users, we have been accustomed to accept the norm that that technology should and will provide us with endless options but be fast, easy to utilize and intuitive to our needs and whims. When this does not happen, we easily get frustrated and annoyed.

So next time, when an angry comment or feedback for your review on facebook wall or bad tweets about your product or service, recognize that it is possible your company violated one or some of these norms which the enlightened customer has grown used to. A reasonable expectation was not met or was destroyed.

For marketers, rather than becoming reactive to comments and feedback, a proactive approach would serve your business much better. Be alert to norm violations, anticipate the reactions of your customer experience, try and respond as quickly as possible to such reactions, concentrate more what causes those annoyances, the root cause, recognize that norms are bound to be different across different cultures and peoples but some remain universal. Most importantly, recognize that these norms are constantly changing and what does not annoy them today may annoy them tomorrow.