Where is Batman when we need him?
I’ve been seeing the trailers for the newest Batman movie coming out and thinking about why the Batman mythos is so popular. Batman decides to take a stand against foes in his crime filled city not only to avenge his dead parents and to blow off the steam that surely comes along with being a billionaire, but also to stand up for the people in the city that are constantly being taken advantage of by some crook or villain. The people of Gotham City need somebody to take a stand for them. Gotham needs somebody who can put their best interests into effect quickly without trudging through the red tape of warrants, courts, and juries. We as movie goers and consumers love this stuff (usually to the tune of $500M+ worldwide box office sales and a slew of toys and games.)
The Batman Method.
Batman seems to have no regard for personal bodily harm or the long arm of the law and judicial system standing in his way in order to do what he knows to be the right thing. In relaying our users experience within our companies we should also lightly take this approach. The main concern in user advocacy shouldn’t be congested by the red tape or time it may take while maintaining an aggressive business model. Informed solutions about allocating resources and the impact of those decisions need to be weighed, but quickly. We need to do the work and address any user pain points swiftly. Batman would. Our users are valuable and the best source of intelligent data. Without all those tax paying Gothamites who would rebuild all the broken buildings and bridges the super heroes and villains keep destroying?
Users aren’t cared for.
Many users, customers and patrons have become somewhat like the bystanders of Gotham. You don’t really see or hear from them until they scatter because two or more larger than life titans are battling it out all over their city while they scream and run from the falling debris of damaged buildings. Companies and their aggressive business strategies have become two of the titans slugging it out while users continue to try and dodge the fallout. Perhaps it’s time we started not only asking the user what it is they want but also listening. Instead of thinking for them, put their ideas and suggestions into effect quickly with as little opposition as possible.
What would Batman do for the user?
The idea of a vigilante for users within any market or industry isn’t new. Executives have been paying attention to focus groups and usability testing for quite a while. In those channels of providing data there are still pitfalls not to be overlooked. There is usually more statistical, historical, analytical data stored around most companies than they know what to do with. When dealing with that data from masses of people using products it’s impossible to get to it all and there are stories hidden there. There is feedback from those people of Gotham expressing their sadness that their favorite banking location was wiped out by the Joker, or instead a customer relaying their frustration in a logout button being less than easily accessible. Batman doesn’t neglect the people of Gotham and we shouldn’t neglect our users.
Be your users Batman.
Our users deserve our advocacy and in fact need it. We are all users and consumers and we can easily relate to what it is we want to see and what motivates us to repeatedly engage with the products of our choosing. Being your users Batman is simple and starts with listening. Batman can even hear when a random innocent citizen is getting mugged. Can you hear when your users are in trouble? What does your bat-signal look like and who is watching for it?