Technology is constantly changing and being improved. New technology is being worked on all the time, too. All of this updated and new tech can be a lot to take in and can sometimes overwhelming. My generation grew up along with the rapid change of technology. Tech has been around for longer than I have been alive, but within the last decade or so it has changed drastically. Looking at the development of phones specifically, advancements are made every year. The picture to the right shows the change of Apple’s iPhones alone. The phones have become slimmer, bigger, faster, and smarter. Ha. Cause smart phones?
When introducing new technology to a client, it is important to actually understand the technology. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes clients use technological words they don’t quite understand. This causes them to say one thing when they might mean something entirely different. When this happens, we must inform them of the correct meaning to avoid confusion and miscommunication. If we don’t understand the tech, we can’t help our clients understand it and eventually use it.
Clients also need to be respected while new tech is being taught to them. This is another thing that may seem like common sense, but it’s important to not talk down to the client. Making them feel incompetent doesn’t benefit anyone. We want to keep their business, not drive them away. Giving our clients the respect they deserve goes a long way. In the clip below from The Office, Michael has some wise words to say about respect.
Learning new technology can be difficult and time consuming. It takes times to learn how to use it and get adjusted to it. It can be frustrating at times. This is important to keep in mind when showing new tech to clients. Making sure clients don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed with whatever tech is being used is crucial. If they get frustrated they may become closed off to the idea of even using the piece of technology. Whoever is training the client should try to keep that from happening. Our job is to show that technology is a help, not a hindrance. It may be beneficial for all parties involved to break up the introduction and training. That way everyone can relax and come back to training refreshed and ready to learn more.
Last but not least, we must be patient with our clients while introducing new technology to them. Figuring out how technology works is quite the learning curve for a lot of people and takes time to understand. Last summer, I built the website for the company I interned for. At the end of the summer, I had to train someone else on keeping the site up to date and making sure it didn’t explode. When I did this, I tried to explain things in a way that would make sense to someone without a background in web design, but also without being condescending. The training session went very well because she was able to comfortably ask questions and I broke it down enough for her to understand it. I also created a document that had instructions on it if she ever needed something to refer back to.
While all of the points I talked about may seem like common sense, they are crucial when introducing new tech to a client and forgotten about more than you would think. To sum it all up: be understanding, be respectful, and be patient. No one likes feeling like they’re incompetent, especially while learning something new.