Make It Easy
One of my favorite marketing suggestions is for a business to make the buying experience easy for the customer. If the customer does not have to jump through all sorts of hoops or over many obstacles, they will actually enjoy buying from your business. They will then tell everyone else how easy the experience was, often saying that they enjoyed the process and had some fun doing it.
There are businesses that make the customer buying experience very memorable. However, there is good memorable and there is bad memorable. We all want to be known for the good memories that we give our customers, not the bad ones. Therefore, we must provide a buying experience that the client remembers as pleasurable and good, not as something that they never, ever want to go through again. It should be a purchase, not a death march.
Does this mean that we must wine and dine our customer during the buying process? Of course not, unless that is the product that we provide. We must give the customer an easy route to the conclusion of their purchasing process, making it as easy as possible, and maybe making it enjoyable, or even a fun experience. It should not be exhausting or frustrating to the customer.
Perhaps every customer starts at your website. Is it easy to navigate; is it easy to read? Is it easy to locate, or is it the website address difficult to type into your browser? Can they find your product listing and prices easily; can they pick out their purchases quickly and check out in a straight-forward manner? Do you accept various methods of payment, and does the customer feel secure in providing their information to you?
If you have a storefront operation, some of the same questions apply. Is it welcoming, easy to locate, safe to venture into, and well-lighted especially if you are open at night? Are your offerings displayed so that they may be easily perused, well-marked as to price, and readily available? Is your staff helpful, knowledgeable, and pleasant to your cliental? Is the purchase process quick and easy, and if the items purchased are heavy or large, do you deliver or at least assist out of your store?
In either situation, is there a way to follow-up with you if there are questions or problems? Can the customer ask questions and receive answers in a swift manner before, during, or after their purchase? Do you state your policies regarding purchases, shipping, and returns clearly and simply? Have you ever asked others to review your website, or store, and give you their opinion of it from the outsider’s point of view?
Have you ever asked your customers their opinions, or have you ever asked your former customers? Is your delivery staff friendly, non-threatening, and able to complete the tasks required in an efficient, but professional manner? Can they answer questions, make adjustments if necessary, and resolve issues on the spot? What is your procedure if there is a mistake on your part, if there is an error on the customer’s part, or if there is a broken, or missing, portion of the product in question?
All of the parts of the customer buying experience are important to a business’s continued success. Your customers will return to buy your products or services if their experience is pleasant and enjoyable. If it is not a good experience, they will not return for whatever you have, and will also never refer anyone to you. They will be your greatest advocates if you make it easy for they to buy from you, but will drive prospects away if they have a difficult buying experience. You want them to be happy, and satisfied, customers and marketing advocates.
What is the experience of your customers? Have you ever asked them, especially the ones that did not remain clients? We all need happy, satisfied customers to prosper and succeed. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.