Creating the ‘Ah Ha!’ Moment

I was reading Joe Coughlin’s recent column It’s the Services Stupid! and realized that I sorta agree with him and sorta don’t. Putting AIP tech into retail settings doesn’t work yet. There are a number of vendors out there who have products in Best Buy and other major retail stores and have found it doesn’t add a lot to their sales bottom line. Instead:

It’s the Language Stupid! I’ve been shopping lately for my latest project, an aging-in-place home remodel for our own home. I had a big Ah Ha! moment last week. – the language we use in our industry is kooky. I’m looking for an ADA-height toilet and when you go to Amazon to find an ADA Toto toilet, you get a title that says ADA. When you go to the Home Depot, the ADA toilet is called a “luxury height” toilet. Now, which one do you want to buy … the disabled toilet or the luxury one? I also saw a title of a book the other day called Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want which includes strategies for “going geriatric.” Staying Put versus Aging in Place. Hummmm. Which one do you think would vibe better with seniors?

Creating the Ah Ha! Moment. Today, I gave an Internet talk to a group of 50 older adults, most were 70+. Three had iPads. Part of the talk was geared towards iPads since a gerontologist (who is 80+ and brought me to the group) was annoyed that more people didn’t have tablets. It was interesting to see the Ah Ha! moment when the audience members figured out they should be considering a tablet instead of a computer. What caused the Ah Ha! was 30 iPad screenshots of a variety of apps – there was one in there that anyone could relate to. “I didn’t know they could do all that” was the common refrain.

Many of our aging in place tech products don’t position themselves properly to create the Ah Ha! moment, the epiphany for the target demographic/psychographic. High-touch selling practices, infomercials, and hands-on events are important strategies that vendors should investigate for their AIP tech product. I almost never talk about frailty-oriented AIP tech products to audiences of older adults but invariably discuss them one-on-one after the talk is over. (But, I do talk about automated pillboxes as a great item for their cat or dog.)

Geezer Squad. The same gerontologist also has been encouraging our local Apple store to hire some older adults. He thinks that the “kids” they have working there don’t understand older adults and can’t help them decide to get a smartphone or iPad. I’ve also heard that from other older adults. We hear the same complaints about the Best Buy folks and their Geek Squad. But, should those businesses design their installation and support around seniors? Probably not. But, if they “designed for all ages” would other customers be happier? Age is not necessarily the only determinant for needing an extra moment of service advice, so I bet all customers would be appreciative.

The Challenge. I’d love to hear from you what language changes you’ve made, what Ah Ha! moments you’ve seen and successful high-touch installation and support scenarios work. Tell me. Please. Every one in our industry needs to know.

ADA products

Many in the industry call the ADA-compliant toilet a "Comfort Height" toilet.

Apple stores

I work for an organization that serves people with significant vision loss. We have had numerous individuals go to the Apple stores to learn about the accessibility features of an Apple product, and invariably, the young person helping them, really has no idea of what the accessibility features are or how to explain them to someone who doesn't see very well and isn't terribly tech savy.

Ah - ha language

Good point!

We encourage family caregivers to present Memo (a memory assistant) to an elder with memory loss with a phrase such as:
- Memo will help us stay organized
- This will keep all of us in the loop so we know what's going on
- I have all this information on my computer at home, and now you can have it here too.
This language works a lot better than "Memo will help you remember things." Memo really is a way to share information among several family members, such as other grown children in distant cities and grandchildren, so the language is honest as well as less insulting.

The Ah Ha moment

Perhaps the problem is not with the language but the fact many seniors don't use the Internet to shop. It is my experience they would rather go to Home Depot and ask for a specific product style. At least here in the Portland,Oregon area I have watched Apple store personnel devote time to help seniors set up their laptop or Ipad. Is their an online catalog for "stay put" products? Thanks for a thoughtful blog

Stay Put Products

There are a number of online retailers that have "stay put" products. FirstStreet and Active Forever are both loaded with gadgets and gizmos. Our web site has a few reviews of products as well at www.happyathome.me.

Nice

Thanks for the link. Got and read some of the reviews in the site.

Bringing Products and Services to the People--Literally

Hi Joseph and Susan,

To add to Susan’s list, Nurture Connect delivers both an online and in-person way to shop for “stay put” or “aging in place” products, as well as mobile products for active people. Our high-touch approach to selling includes consumer education, “smart buyer advice,” hands-on product demonstrations and more.
www.nurtureconnect.com

You might also be interested in reading our blog response to Coughlin’s It’s the Service Stupid! article. http://wp.me/pJTVT-35 With our partner product/service companies, we are delivering the “complete solution” to consumers.

Michaela Sweatt
Nurture Connect

PStay Put Products

Thanks for the link. The lighting products seemed useful.

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