Title: End User

When I look at registration forms on web sites, I often have a hard time selecting the right options from drop down menus...

Today, I registered as a "member of the Adobe community" -- On the form, I was a little surprised that to see that I could select "Analyst" under title. That's rare... I also noticed that I could select "End User."

Does anyone in any company in any country in the world have the title "End User"?

2_adobe_sign_up_form

Imagine visiting a company that employed people with the title "End Users":

Host: "Thanks for visiting us today. Let me introduce you to the people you haven't met before. This is Sarah -- Sarah is our VP of product development. And this is Bob -- He manages our team of End Users. He used to be an End User himself."

Visitor: "Oh really. Which end did you use Bob?"

My colleague, Josh Bernoff, wrote a blog post about the wrongness of using the word "users" to describe your customers. Josh made a commitment: "I will think of people who use technology as people, customers, and friends. I won't use them, and they won't use me."

http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/2007/07/im-sick-of-user.html

But if your customers and friends classified themeselves as "users," would that make it OK .... ?

(Actually, it's given me an idea.... I'm wondering how businesses would react if I started to carry some "meishi" (business cards) with the words "YOUR CUSTOMER" as my title. I'd really like to introduce myself to my bank manager in this way. Cards are taken pretty seriously in Japan -- I'd have to be careful about how I would deliver this kind of message).

Let me wrap this up with two plugs:

(1) A report I wrote in January about making better online forms for Japanese customers:

Japanese Consumers Need Better Online Forms

(2) "Web Form Design" -- by Luke Wroblewski. This is a great resource if you're looking to improve your conversion rates and make it easier for your customers to transact with you

http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/webforms/