Helping a Technophobe

May 24th, 2018

Most of your AV customers feel fearful and anxious with tech. In fact, they may even be technophobes and they need our help. Read on!

Technophobia refers to the feelings of fear and anxiety related to technology.  Many of our AV customers would describe themselves with this term.  Due to the nature our industry, AV professional are not in this category.  Because of our comfort levels, we can easily be unaware of these issues with our clients.  To our detriment, we can also be unsensitive and cause further anxiety during our consultations. In this post, we challenge our AV colleagues to learn more about technophobia and how to increase comfort levels and trust.

What is Technophobia?

Kimmel Psychology, based in Florida, posted an article titled, “Do You Suffer From Technophobia?” and offered a psychologist’s point of view.  Their firm states:

Today, people who have technophobia feel anxious or even panicky when faced with using new devices such as computers, cell phones, smart televisions, tablets, or even ATMs. They have self-doubt and tend to avoid these machines, depending on others to use them. They may feel overwhelmed and resist learning what they think are complex instructions. The avoidance of using technology gives them a sense of relief which actually reinforces the avoidance response.

But what is it really that makes people feel anxious? There appears to be no specific cause for technophobia although there are several theories. Often, people have a fear of change and not being able to handle the new. Technology which is constantly changing requires the learning of new instructions and doing processes differently. While the younger generations appear adept at this, many in the older generation resist change, creating a great divide…

Symptoms of technophobia include avoidance or reluctance to use technology, an unwillingness to learn or update one’s knowledge of technological devices, criticizing new technology, or using rationalizations such as: “I have gotten by so far without technology and I can get by without it.” Physical symptoms of anxiety include dizziness, heart palpitations, fuzzy thinking, feeling detached, fear of losing control, and a shortness of breath.

Helping a Technophobe

While most of your customers agree that AV tech is going to meet their need or solve their problem, human nature is naturally resistant to change.  Even if you have thoroughly explained your product or service, you will encounter technophobic customers who may not only be reluctant but also hostile.  So, what do software companies do when they are brought in to an organization for an IT overhaul?  Here are some insights from Jenny Ward, a Marketing Manager with DSD Business Systems:

Figure Out What’s Wrong

Frequently, many customers don’t want to appear ignorant or foolish.  They may not speak up if they see a potential problem or are having difficulties understanding a new system.  There is always a reason why people are slower adapting to new ways of thinking and doing.  So, have a candid conversation to learn their concerns and common complaints. Then, work closely with them to show how you are addressing those issues and how your AV is improving their environment.

Offer Better Training

We know it can be tempting to leave a customer with a manual or a trouble-shooting guide, but follow-up training is often an overlooked and imperative service.  Not only do we need to work side-by-side with our customers, we need to offer training and customer support to other end-users as well.  And this support needs to be offered through a variety of formats.  Most importantly, be available for one-on-one support for obvious or self-described technophobes.

Celebrate the Wins

Did your customer see an immediate positive result with your product or service?  Make this a big deal!  Post it on social media.  Throw a party.  Write a press release.

You can even celebrate the little wins.  For example, ask your customer, “Do you have a smart phone?”  Since the answer is likely yes, now you can share an amazing fact. The phone in their pocket is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969.

Welcome to the Tech Club!

The AV Bend Team