Too often sales people sell us products or services and then walk away. Job done. Target met. And then they move on to their next sale. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for us to be left with a product that be shiny and look cool, but we don’t know how to use much. Or we buy a product or service online and we never use.
And while this happens in our own lives to us, for some of us, we are the sales people. But it doesn’t just happen there. It also happens in the charity and public sectors. Especially in ‘digital transformation’. Very few of us enjoy being labelled a ‘laggard’, we prefer the status of leader or at least part of the majority. So we buy digital devices which ‘show’ others we are ‘one of them.’ This can be a smartphone even though we only use it to call and text.
But it also can be much bigger. Too often I hear stories of organisations or government departments being sold some fancy digital system, but no one knows how to use it. To be fair, in almost every case, I can understand why they bought it as the problem they were trying to solve with it needed to be solved and the impact could be large. Too often though, they are sold a system that is ‘easy to use’ and so ‘no training’ is needed. Or there is a ‘helpdesk’.
When you’re told something is easy to use but you can seem to figure it out, how willing are you going to be to ask for help? Especially if you have ‘high positional status’. Most people don’t and shame and embarrassment grow. And sometimes anger too.
Buying systems without thinking about the longterm is plain silly. Sometimes it’s seduction or being sold a lie or infatuation or wanting to gain status. But it is still silly.
Capacity to use and maintain a product or system in the long term may not be sexy or give you status in the short term, but the long term benefit is astronomical.
The choice is up to us.