Don't Forget The Digital Immigrants

It’s very easy to get caught up in all the technology options we have today when it comes to how we communicate with our customers. Whether it’s via the web, email, mobile, social media or all of the above, we have no shortage of ways to interact digitally. However, we cannot forget that this technology may not be as exciting or natural to use for many of our customers, and as such, it’s up to us to make sure that we do not overlook these individuals or provide a lower level of service to them.

The term “digital immigrants” was coined to identify people that have not grown up with technology (as compared to “digital natives”), and in turn, their comfort level with it will vary dramatically. Some people will refuse to learn at all and can get along quite comfortably without ever using a computer. Others will recognise the value of these digital services and attempt to teach themselves how to use them, but even in these cases, they often prefer to use more traditional means of communication.

Here are some ideas to make sure your digital immigrants receive the same level of service as your other tech-savvy customers:

  • Make sure your customer service phone number is prominently displayed in all communications, both digital and print.
  • Always provide the option to receive invoices and other important communications by mail or fax. We all want to be “greener” and more cost effective, but not at the expense of customer satisfaction.
  • As you identify customers that don’t have email addresses, add them to a list and make sure that list receives phone calls from your service department after important notices are sent. This should include items that the customer finds important (pre-sales, on-sales, special events), not just payment information.
  • Don’t assume that just because you sent an email that the customer actually received it or read it. Even those customers that you do have an email address for may not check it regularly enough (that’s why we don’t have 100% open rates on emails).
  • Use a “robo-call” service as an option for important customer communications (opt-in only!).
  • Where technology is absolutely required (e.g. listing tickets for resale online), create easy-to-follow video instruction and a video tutorial to try and make the experience as simple as possible.
  • When surveying customers, don’t overlook those that don’t have an email. These customers could receive the option of completing the survey over the phone or by paper copy.
  • Have regular walk-up hours at your box office, including at least one day per week with extended hours.

Of course, this is just a small list of items. The important principle to remember is that all of your customers are important, so don’t let their level of technology usage hinder the level of customer service that they receive.

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