Make it easier

Last week, I needed to cancel our Collegewise account with DocuSign, as we’ve recently found a new tool that replaces it. And as I logged into my account, I braced myself. I was expecting the same routine I’ve found with multiple other services.

You want to upgrade and pay us more? Great! We’ll make it easy—just click here!

But oh, you want to cancel? Ooff. Geez. We can’t let you just click a button. You’ll have to call us. And once you’re here, we’ll send you through a recorded option purgatory before you finally reach a real human being who will inevitably make you defend your choice to leave us. In the meantime, please hold. Your call is very important to us.

But DocuSign made it easier. One click was all it took. It was so damn refreshing, it actually made me even more likely to recommend their product.

There are a few lessons here for schools, counselors, and students.

Schools and counselors, if you’re serving students (and in many cases, their parents), are you making it easier for them to get the information they need, to take the actions they need to take, to do the things they need to do to benefit most from what you offer? I’m not suggesting you need to be available to them 24/7, but here’s a good litmus test. Imagine someone you love—your child, your partner, your grandmother—experiencing what these customers are experiencing. Would you feel good about how they’re being treated? Or would you think they deserved better? If it’s the latter, remember that your customers are somebody’s child, partner, grandmother, etc. And they probably deserve better.

And for students who are sifting through various college acceptances, here’s an ask—when you make your final decision, please honor the other colleges’ requests to tell them that you won’t be attending. Regardless of your level of affection for those colleges, remember that other students just like you plan on—or desperately hope to be—attending. Those students are customers whose lives will be made better if the colleges can make it easier. The sooner students like you inform schools of your plans to go elsewhere, the sooner those colleges can commit to housing their incoming students, and the sooner they can reach out to those applicants on waitlists to offer them a space. You’ll be helping colleges and your fellow students, and you’ll be putting yourself in line for well-deserved karma points for making everyone’s job just a little easier.