How to Make It Easy for Customers to Do Business With You

How to Make It Easy for Customers to Do Business With You

If you make something easy to do, people are more likely to do it. They’re also more likely to come back to you in the future when they need a similar product or service. Nothing complicated about that, but it’s a point that many brands and service providers miss at a time when technology should be making things more convenient, not the other way around.

In handling the details of a recent move to another state, I’ve experienced both the good and bad of this important, fundamental aspect of customer service.

Providing a Positive Experience for Your Customers Starts with Attention to Detail
 

Purchasing insurance requires filling out a bunch of forms. Whether you do it online or in person, it takes some effort, even if you’re working with a helpful insurance agent. I’ve done that dance before, so I set out to find an insurance agent who would make the task as stress-free as possible.

The first agent I spoke with probably thought “the user experience” was the name of a band, rather than an important customer service consideration during a major financial transaction.

It started with lots and lots of forms, which could only be filled out manually. I was half expecting the agent’s contact info to be a fax machine number, rather than an email address.

The problem was, I still needed insurance, so I decided to let the process play out a bit more before moving on to my next option. You can probably guess where this is going.

My patience was NOT rewarded. All of those forms, all of that waiting, and I didn’t even receive a follow-up from the insurance agent. Pretty poor experience.

The next agent I spoke to almost instantly made me question why I’d spent any more than the absolute minimum of time with the first agent. This experience was the complete opposite of the first one. It included digital forms, electronic signatures, useful feedback, and an immediate follow-up to make sure that I was happy with the results. In addition to simplifying the shopping process, this agent’s attention to the little details certainly gave me confidence that they’d be able to handle the big details if I ever need to make a claim.

Make It Easy to Do, and They’re More Likely to Do It
 

The lesson to take from this experience is two-fold. First, no matter your industry, you can differentiate yourself by being reliable, accountable, and punctual. Those traits never go out of style, and they’re especially important when you’re dealing with financial matters. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.

The second lesson is that if you want to win customers – online or elsewhere – you need to make it as easy as possible for those customers to accomplish their goals. If you wall off all of your best content behind extensive sign-up forms, guess what? People are less likely to read your stuff. Force people to register to make a small purchase, and they’ll just go to Amazon instead. Make it difficult to pay through the customer’s most convenient channels, and they might just skip the whole purchase. If you’re not making it easy for people, you most likely won’t even know where they fall off the process.

My insurance experience is a great example, because it was a blend of in-person and online customer service. Moving ties up a ton of mental capital, and I just wanted an agent who would streamline the process, communicate clearly, and take care of the details that I was too busy to handle myself at the time. The first agent I spoke with failed on all counts. The second passed with flying colors, and likely earned a long-term customer as a result.

How can you apply this to your business? Most importantly, don’t blindly accept status quo. Always be looking at every process in your customer’s buying journey with a critical eye. Secondly, stay on top of new technologies that can streamline your processes. Yes, it’s a fast-moving world, but that also makes it more competitive. Be open to adopting new tech that makes it easier on your customers, or watch your competition grab your market share.

Last, but not least, remember to look for opportunities to create positive relationships with your customers—whether it’s on social channels, in chat, on the phone or in person. Educate your customer-facing employees on cultivating a “making it easy” mindset, and canvas your employees for ideas! A boots-on-the-ground perspective is a great way to stay in tune with your customers. Make it easy for them, and you’ll be reaping rewards far beyond the initial transaction. 

This first appeared on Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin
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Ted Rubin is a leading Social Media Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO for Brand Innovators. In March 2009, Ted started using and evangeli ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge


Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising


The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor


Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client


How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?


According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources


I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps


Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation


Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?


The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?


Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals


Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio