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How Tech Companies Can Incentivise A New Generation Of Consumers

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The tech industry has dominated since the turn of the millennium, with the internet’s rise to mainstream viability and appeal inarguably changing the world. It’s due to the revolutionary levels of global interconnectivity that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t proven significantly more disruptive than it has (things have been bad, but they could have been so much worse).

Today, with national economies shaky but the tech landscape more vital than ever before, we’re seeing new tech companies founded at an unprecedented rate. The opportunity is there, of course, as there’s enough demand for many businesses to coexist — but the proliferation of options allows consumers to be extremely picky about how they spend their money.

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This means that tech companies need to work hard to win new customers, and even harder to earn their lasting loyalty. How can they achieve this? Well, the key concern is incentivization — and in this post we’re going to consider how they can use incentives to convince a new generation of consumers. Let’s get started.

Use compelling motivators such as ticking clocks

Tech companies need to accept that even the most sophisticated consumer technology no longer feels novel, and that isn’t going to change until a truly revolutionary product comes along. In the meantime, then, they need to look for other ways in which they can drive conversions, and the best route involves drawing from the classic sales playbook. After all, there’s no value in reinventing the wheel for the sake of it, is there?

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And of all the motivators online businesses use, there’s nothing more consistently effective than a ticking clock. Whether you’re browsing Amazon’s latest lightning deals or considering your dream life while eyeing online lottery tickets at lotto247.com, having a ticking clock to remind you that an offer won’t be around forever is immensely effective at pushing you to take action instead of waiting until you’ve made a more reasoned decision.

You can also induce FOMO (fear of missing out) by listing dwindling stock levels and offering timed discounts. You shouldn’t fabricate scarcity if it isn’t there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it abundantly clear that buying now is going to be more practical than buying later.

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Focus on having competitive welcome offers and trials

More often than not, modern tech companies concentrate on service-based models. Even hardware sellers are now going down that route. The more complicated tech systems get, the more important it is for them to be routine, and renting laptops through a supported service is easier (and potentially cheaper) than periodically buying new machines outright.

The thing with service-based systems, though, is that they require big commitments. Paying on a monthly basis is standard, but it isn’t so rare for a company to ask for a year’s subscription upfront. For some tech services, a year’s subscription can be a lot of money to pay, so it’s all about clearing that first hurdle. Companies that get people signed up can easily keep them.

This is where welcome offers and trials come in. A welcome bonus is all about softening the blow of long-term investment by granting short-term rewards, while a free trial is (as the name suggests) about giving the customer a chance to try something before they pay for it. It’s true that there are pros and cons to the latter (as there are to the former, it bears noting: you can offer too much value upfront if you’re not careful), but that just means you need to use it smartly.

Optimize their customer service platforms

It often gets overlooked as a core concern, but it’s clear that customer service can make or break a tech company. Before they sign up to services, prospective users want to know what kind of support they’ll be given. How can they reach out? What topics can they ask about? How quickly will their queries be answered? Is there a limit on how much time they can take up?

When you’re going to be using a service every day for years (and it’s likely to form part of the foundation of your entire operation), it’s obviously essential that you know you can rely on it. The best customer service platforms span business websites, service portals, and social media profiles: wherever someone mentions an issue with your service, you should pick it up.

This comes down to more than stats, though. As nice as it is to say “99% of customer queries are answered within an hour”, it’s better to put the emphasis on customer testimonials. Having a satisfied user provide a glowing endorsement speaking of how helpful and knowledgeable your support assistants have been will greatly incentivize people to sign up.

Frequently roll out experimental new features

Service stability is great, but it’s also a standard. Every decent system has a 99.9% uptime guarantee and can be relied upon in most use cases. If you want to stand out, a great incentive is the steady release of experimental features. While your rivals wait until major patches to embrace new technologies and options, you can empower your users significantly earlier.

This isn’t without risks, of course, because experimental features are inevitably buggy — and buggy software leads to unhappy users. This is why you need to be extremely careful with your presentation. Maintain a stable version of your service, then allow users to manually select a beta version with experimental features (Google does this to great effect).

Think about the concerns that go into long-term tech commitments. One of the core worries will involve a lack of innovation: no one wants to be left behind because the software system they’re using is updated very slowly. Committing to a bleeding-edge approach to tech innovation will give people a great reason to choose your service.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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