Don’t Trojan Horse your customer!


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Today, my laptop prompted me to install a new version of Java. I usually go ahead and just do it – you need Java. I was starting my day and going through email when I saw the prompt to install the downloaded Java update. Problem is, they wanted me to install the toolbar on my browser and make my default search engine. Um, no.

Here’s the trade off in the customer experience.

First part:

  • If customers notice the pre-checked box to install this new toolbar they can choose to uncheck the box. But why do they have to? It’s a crazy big assumption that customers would want this. Those who notice it and realize it is really not something they want (the majority of those who notice it) will be frustrated at the extra step. Even a tiny check box slows you down.
  • If customers don’t notice the pre-checked box and later see a new toolbar just appear in their browser and now have their entry page be, they’re going to feel irritated.

Second part:

  • Is Java making money off this offering from Is there a benefit to them that outweighs the two aforementioned options that annoy customers?

One of the biggest reason companies struggle to deliver the best customer experience is because they aren’t working across departments. Perhaps the sales department wants one thing and marketing wants another thing. It’s likely they don’t know what the other group is doing and how and where it’s impacting the customer experience. That makes customer experience success impossible.

For example, at Java, the marketing folks might have made a partnership with that they want to leverage. They are getting something in return. But is anyone measuring the downside of how this partnership is being offered (the pre-checked box) and what it is doing to customer perception of their brand?

Thinking through the full customer experience means walking in your customers’ shoes. Go ahead try and download that new java with the toolbar and default page to your web browser. Now how long does it take to remove those? Why do this to customers?

What stories can you tell like this? Share your stories in the comment section below.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kim Proctor
Kim has a passion for improving the customer experience and loves the online space. Having spent most of her career on the web, Kim is a consultant that knows how to grow web traffic, leverage social media and grow deeper customer relationships. She has consulted for a wide range of companies from small business to the Fortune 500. For more info, see


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