Being Loyal

In this post that I've created the first draft of it couple of months(!) earlier, I'd like to write about how being a loyal user affects our life. Before going any further, I'd like to make clear that I haven't studied user experience or any related field nor do I have an expertise in the field. I just want to expose my observations and thoughts.

Actually, everything in our lives start with a first try. From digital products to activities we do in our life we try something. Either we like it or we remove it from our lives. For instance, it's really hard for me to find a haircutter. Because I know that every time I go to a place, either I can't express myself clearly about what kind of hair style I'd like to have or he just does it the way he understands. Usually, at the end of the day I leave the saloon not so happy with the result. So I think of not going to that place again. For this matter, some people struggles finding a proper barber shop. From my past experiences I learned that once I find a haircutter with a reference from someone I know, I try to stick with it. It's because every other time I go to the barber again, there is a communication evolves between me and the haircutter that results with a better haircut over the time. I try to explain the things that I liked and didn't like at the previous time and I believe this is really important.

Considering the matter from another perspective, users of a product sometimes forget that the product they are currently using is a thing that evolves. They think it will always remain same, have no new features in the future and all the bugs will be there indefinitely. Once they notice bugs and problems it is most likely for them stop using it in near future. At this point I believe that products must be judged fairly and be tolerated at least till it becomes mature just like an infant. Being loyal plays an important role here. The more time you stick with the product and see how it evolves, I believe it is more likely for you to increase your engagement with product. One reason to this could be that you are a loyal user so that you've seen all the way along now and you know the real value of the product.

Feedback is a fundamental phase of loyalty. We all know about feedback but when it comes to make it real, we become lazy persons who click the button "Remind me later" or worse "No" as an answer to the question "Would you like to rate or give feedback to XYZ?". There are couple of things here. First, it's really important for a user how easy can he/she can give feedback. Just like people giving up buying an item because of long, multiple pages of checkout modules, some people give up giving feedback because it is painful. The thing that is more important than former one is giving feedback with all the way long to it's end. Eventually it's us who will use the application or product again and again. So any possible feedback we may give to the product's team actually can be more benefical for ourselves than the product's owners in short term. I can't think of haircutting scenario without giving a feedback.

Loyalty can be seen at a point that a user gives feedback intentionally without being explicitly asked to do. And to make someone do this, the user must feel that this particular application, product or service is important for him/her. Thus, this matter is not one sided and to meet this expectations, the team of the product plays the main role here about making a user loyal to the product. In this manner creating a strong impact on users is the fundamental point here. A particular book named Hooked, explains forming a habit and making a user engaged with your application in-depth so I strongly recommend the book for those who are interested in the matter.

Having a culture of rating an application or giving feedback to a service constantly, is beneficial for all of us. Another day you might be the one who is the builder or maker who needs feedback so that I believe trying to create a feedback culture in our entourage will yield better results for all of us. So be loyal to the services and products that you believe it has a meaning for you and try to make it something better at least by sending a tweet about your thoughts on the service. So the question is,

Would you like to be an end-user that just consumes the product or a loyal user who contributes a value to the product at the end of the day?

Thank you for reading,

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