Conversation starter: Ian McCardle
Ian wanted to know how we can engage service users to get on board with digital tech. What are the obstacles, and how can we overcome them?
We discussed service users becoming frustrated by failures of technology. An example was given of a compulsory app update that resulted in a crash, leaving users with no service access. This can be off-putting and lead to abandonment of tech – or failure to adopt in the first place.
We talked about how those pushing digital solutions are over-focused on scalability and often overlook the need for relationship-level support.
The power of the human factor cannot be underestimated. Users accessing a bricks and mortar setting may be benefiting from simple human interaction as much as the service itself. And when technology is implemented, many users will require in-person support in accessing it.
It’s not as simple as leaving an iPad in a waiting room and expecting people to use it.
Conclusions? Investing in human engagement is crucial to the success of digital tools. Your digital platform may be wonderful, but it should be part of a broader solution. When you combine the digital and the personal, you give your customers a choice about how to engage with your service. Then they are more likely to want to engage with it.