Why is it Important to make it Easy to be Your Customer?

 

Fifty years ago, a company could more or less decide who they wanted to be and what products they wanted to produce without a great deal of thought as to what their customers wanted.  The customers could either use their products or go without.  They may have had a few competitors, but they knew the competitors operated much the same as they did.  Most of them grabbed a customer and they became a customer for life.  The customers were loyal to the brand and would buy their next product from the same company . . .  a Ford family would never buy a car from General Motors and an RCA family would never buy a TV from Zenith.

 

Today, however, loyalty only lasts as long as the honeymoon period with the latest purchase.  People change brands on a whim. The lack of loyalty is due in part to the “throw-away” society, where if you don’t like it you trash it and get something different.  The other reason is that businesses don’t make it easy to be their customer.  So, when something goes wrong or sometimes even before the sale, the customer is lost because of the company’s lack of engagement with the customer.

 

Making it easy to do business with your company starts before the sale.  Information about your products need to be easy to find on your website or via other avenues so that potential customers can learn about the benefits of your products.  That is the first step of getting your foot in the door with the customer.  If people looking at your website can find little information or it requires several clicks to reach information, they will be off to someone else’s website where information is more readily available.  The fact that they bought their most recent product from you will carry little weight.  Instead, they are looking for the ability to obtain information and make a purchase easily.

 

If all a company is worried about is making a sale and they have no intention of retaining customers, they can simply stop at this step.  However, if they want happy customers that may purchase from them again, they need to make information readily available regarding installation, maintenance, and use of the product.  The company should consider various aspects of customer care, which is not defined as an automated system where you cannot get to a human being.  Instead, customer care should consider processes for getting replacement parts; obtaining service and information via phone, e-mail, online chats, etc.; and the ability to actually speak to a knowledgeable person.

 

Now imagine that you make it easy for the customer to answer their question or resolve their issues, before and after the purchase.  They reach people who are knowledgeable and are empowered.  The website has resolutions for many issues including a quick way to get replacement parts or additional support.  And, people do all this with minimal effort.

 

What do you think would happen?  For one thing, your company would be remembered and other companies would be compared to you.  The customer would also remember how easy it was to resolve the issue rather than the fact that they had an issue.  This is a huge step toward keeping them as a customer.  And, although it likely wouldn’t bring back the level of loyalty of years gone by, it would definitely keep you in the running for the customer’s next purchase.  Remember, the cost of keeping customers is less than the cost of gaining new customers!

 

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Copyright 2016 L. Thomson  - All Rights Reserved

 

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