Two and a half hours I won’t get back. That’s what I lost this morning when it was time to move from my preview version of Office 365 to a full version and troubleshoot an error that was freezing me out of Outlook.

Okay, so I’m not an IT guy. But I bought my first computer 28 years ago (a Mac with 400k internal floppy drive), have worked with DOS, dabbled with HTML, and have successfully upgraded memory and hard drives in both Macs and PCs.

Why the difficulty? Microsoft requires you to uninstall Office 2013 Preview before downloading and installing the fully licensed version. Why not just enter the license number? Then, after spending seemingly forever troubleshooting my Outlook problem, I gave up and called our Exchange host. After just a few minutes, they gave up on the problem too and simply had me install a new profile.

All I could think was, if this was a Mac, this would be easy. One click install or update and I’m done.

Apple-One-Click-Update

I have a Macbook Air and Macs at home, but have proudly clung to my PC as my desktop at work. I have a big hard drive, two good sized monitors and it’s been a solid machine. Office for Mac works great, and I’ve moved seamlessly between Mac and PC without consequence.

But this morning, I nearly ditched my PC and plugged in my MBA. My co-workers were tired of hearing me bitching and suggested as much. Finally, around noon everything was up and running again but I’m not sure if I’ll replace this desktop with another PC. Unless Microsoft can make upgrading easier. A lot easier.

I’ve been rooting for Microsoft for years, so I share this story, not because I want to rant – but because it’s applies to nearly every organization out there.

If you don’t make it easy for your customers to buy from work with you, they’ll take their business to an innovative competitor people are talking about, like…

the nonprofit accepting donations via text message;
the flower shop that remembers your preferences;
the law firm that uses Skype instead of forcing you to come into their office for every meeting;
a landscaping company that offers online billing; or
that hospital that offers an “express lane” for patients that pre-register health information.

I could come up with a hundred of these, but you get the point:

Make it hard, and they will go. 
Make it easy, and they will come. 

So, who’s making it easy? Who’s doing something remarkable? I’d love to hear all about them.

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