Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making Your Software Customers Wait

Waiting-time is the key factor in shoppers' opinions about the quality of service. So says Paco Underhill, author of the book "Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping."

Underhill was discussing attitudes of shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores. But online we see the same relationship between waiting-time and the perceived quality of service.

Quick Internet connections are easier to find and less expensive than they used to be. But your website needs to be perceived as loading briskly, even on slower connections, because customers and prospects simply won't wait more than a few seconds for your sales message to show up.

Use all of the techniques that make web pages load quickly. Be sure that you specify the width and height of every image on your site. Avoid complex nested tables, especially near the top of your web pages.

Store shoppers are less bothered about waiting, Underhill tells us, if a real person tells them that they may have to wait for a bit. Online, we should find a way to warn our website visitors if they may experience a delay. Software developers should tell people how large their trial version download is, and how long it might take to download on various connections.

Store customers hate to wait in the wrong queue, only to have to move to a different line and begin the waiting process again. Online, a weak navigation regimen can lead to this same type of frustration.

Every software developer should identify every point of annoyance on their web pages. Find these problems, and remove them. It's good software marketing.

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