The Consumption Gap
Nalpeiron Software Analytics Blog, January 2014
The Consumption Gap
The definition of the consumption gap in technology is when a customer pays for software that cannot be used due to lack of time, understanding, and usability. Customers are not affected by the consumption gap as long as the software they pay for provides the business solutions they seek. However, the negative impact of the consumption gap occurs when the customer begins to experience problems due to the complexity of the software getting in the way of doing business.
User experience is further damaged when the complexity of the software increases at each software upgrade. iPhone users, for example, have recently upgraded to iOS7. The upgrade provided improvements such as HDR photo capability, panaroma photography, and a new snazzy look. In exchange for these improvements, some users have experienced serious errors such as losing massive amounts of music data on their iTunes, while all users have lost the ability to keep the battery life on the phone for any extended period of time. Users wanting to to try to improve things can read up on articles teaching workarounds for the shortened battery life issue. In the meantime, we can be absolutely sure that Apple is losing iPhone customers.
Maybe a company the size of Apple can afford that kind of customer attrition, although it’s unlikely. But most start ups are absolutely not in a position to upset customers to this extent. When software is too hard to use, customers will not buy into it. And when software upgrades change a product too much, customers who have developed loyalty will be upset and begin to look for alternate, and more simple solutions. If Apple, the Master of Simplicity, can make this kind of consumption gap error, imagine how easy it is for the rest of us to fall into this trap.
The solution is to provide users with a path to success with the product. Once the focus is on customer satisfaction, the tech enterprise business has its North Star. Software analytics offers a clear picture of application usage behavior. Business marketing and education can place a focus on driving user adoption. By providing user adoption services, tech enterprises can ensure that their customers are experiencing success in finding their business solutions. By providing deep levels of ongoing customer service, businesses can insure their customers’ ongoing loyalty.