This year I used Turbotax for my business taxes. Towards the end of the process, I encountered a very awkward step.
1. I had to print out a form.
2. Sign the form.
3. Scan the form back in.
4. Attach the form to my return.
For being a piece of software, these steps seemed incredibly ridiculous. I remember having this issue last year.
However, this year Turbotax knew what I was thinking.
The instructions on the page included a message like:
“Note: we know this is archaic and not very green. We’re working on it.”
That simple message changed my perception of the problem. They were honest, up front, and even self-deprecating. This resulted in me following the process and probably using Turbotax next year.
It is OK to admit your shortcomings, errors, and oddities to your customers. It makes you more human, approachable, and helps customers relate to you (even if you are a piece of software).
In the Turbotax example, since they admitted the obvious, they prevented innumerable support calls that would have resulted and helped build a relationship with customers.
You can do likewise. If something is obvious and annoying to you, it will be glaringly obvious to your customers. If you can’t fix the problem before customers see it, at least acknowledge it.