If you have been paying attention to the news, the glitches and problems associated with the new Obamacare website are making big news all across the nation. While we will have to wait and see whether or not they are able to fix the site and the problems people are having with the new online health care marketplace, the whole episode served to emphasize a few points of particular interest to entrepreneurs:
- Importance of Building a Positive Brand Association – Most people are not particularly upset with president Obama over the site glitches, and trust that he will work them out in a reasonable time frame. This serves to demonstrate the power that a positive branding has within the minds of consumers; they trusted Obama, so they were willing to trust his product even in the face of glitches and problems.
- New Online Marketplaces Work – People are more and more willing to buy just about anything online, and this has led to the development of a variety of online marketplaces as organizations pop up in an attempt to fulfill the needs of customers. If people are willing to buy their health insurance online, you can most likely find ways to sell them your product and service online as well.
- Patience for Technical Issues is Limited – More than ever before, peoples’ tolerance for technical glitches in services and processes they expect to go smoothly simply aren’t tolerated. While Obama likely will not suffer too much personally or politically over these website problems since people basically trust him, it is obvious that pretty much everyone was expecting this site to function correctly, straight out of the box, for hundreds of millions of users. The fact that that opinion was wishful thinking doesn’t occur to the public; their tolerance for technical issues is extremely limited.
Entrepreneurs can apply these three lessons to their own efforts as well. The implications of building a positive brand association in the mind of the public should be obvious. The new online revenue channels gives people a target to aim at, and the impatience of the public regarding technical service glitches serves as a warning to make your user experience extremely smooth and consistent for all your users.