20 Things Technology Can't Do Without Help
No matter what product or service we provide, our customers have preconceived -- and sometimes misguided -- expectations about what they will receive for us.
Welcome to our weekly digest for business leaders. We talk information, knowledge, tools, resources, and sometimes the technology stuff we all dread to help you and your business thrive.
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In last week’s email, I shared a LinkedIn comment that made me laugh out loud. This new LinkedIn comment made me pause and think.
I posted a short, LinkedIn-digestible version of last week’s give your content a job to do post. One commenter said she also follows our clear, actionable approach. But she also shares this valuable piece of information with her clients – what the solution doesn’t do.
Think about that. Not only does this transparency build a ton of trust and credibility, but it also sets realistic expectations.
The Thing About Expectations
No matter what product or service we provide, our customers have preconceived -- and sometimes misguided -- expectations about what they will receive for us. They “already know” what legal, accounting, medical, or technology means.
How often are they left wondering what happened?
Some professions are clearer than others about the scope of their services. We know, for example, what our primary care physician provides because they refer us to a string of specialists.
Attorneys prominently display their practice areas. Accountants, for all their attention to detail, have a good bit of work to do clarifying their services. But that's a post for another day.
This brings us to technology.
What Exactly is Technology?
The top Google search result defines technology as “The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.”
Following the Google results breadcrumb trail leads to one obscure, unhelpful definition after the other. It’s no wonder that we all have concocted our own definition of -- and expectations for -- technology.
We often hear company leaders share their frustrations with tech investments that fail to deliver and IT people who just don't get it. We completely understand how this happens.
They've simply come to expect way more from technology -- the tool -- than it can deliver on its own.
We Gave Ourselves This Challenge
We created a fun challenge for ourselves -- list all the things that technology can’t do without an assist.
Just like a screwdriver needs the steady hand to turn the screw, technology needs the human helping hand. Our list quickly grew to 47 items, and now we can't seem to stop thinking about this.
Here are 20 things that we thought you might enjoy. Each of these could easily be a post in itself, but we’ll save the to-do list behind each these for another day. For now, just ask what will help each deliver a useful result.
Use these 20 items as discussion examples the next time you’re frustrated by technology, disappointed with your results, or considering a purchase.
How Technology Needs a Helping Hand
Find the most reliable, trustworthy answer on Google
For example, a helping hand might ask :
• What problem do you want to solve?
• What question are you asking?
• What words describe your problem?
• How will you determine the reliability of the results?
Design, create, and deliver the product your customers want and need
Understand the questions your customers are asking
Answer your clients’ questions
Explain an important concept your customers need to understand
Write an actionable blog post your desired audience will read and act on
Design, create, and deliver the right marketing campaign
Discover you're not an expert in [accounting] [law] [technology] [marketing] simply because you purchased [QuickBooks] [LegalZoom] [Zapier] [MailChimp]
Have a conversation with a client
Build a lasting business partnership
Create a strategic business plan
Get your Shopify products in front of your ideal customers
Bring more of the right visitors to your website
Hire the right employee
Manage who can access your company data
Ensure your online protection
Tell you what you need to know
Identify new opportunities that can boost your business
Explain your product or service to your desired customer
Tell you when it can no longer do the job you hired the technology to do
The common thread among these 20 items is obvious. Each is supported by technology in some way. But what powers the tool to deliver your expected outcome is human thinking, listening, planning, and continuous attention.
Fancy technology alone won't make make your life better.