Is the ‘Easy Button’ in your business?
Every business likes to think they have it. Staples has made a fortune selling them. Consumers are demanding it. The easy button; it’s hard to believe but it’s been nearly 15 years since Staples first introduced that big red button as a fun, clever way to say, “relax we got this” when you shop at our store. Today, every business from Local to Amazon is looking for ways to make the shopping experience easier for their customers. We all want the easy button.
Unfortunately, perception is often not reality. Even Staples found out after they started the Easy Button campaign that they had a lot of holes in their business model that really were not making it easy to do business with them. Their ingenious marketing idea forced them to look inward at their own systems and processes to ensure they really were providing a stress free “easy” buying experience for their customers.
It’s safe to say no company is intentionally trying to be hard to do business with, though it’s a good bet in the last 30 days you have had some type of exchange with a company that did a great job disproving that notion. The simple item you couldn’t return, the “policy” that had no exceptions, the automated customer service phone loop to hell. We’ve all experienced them. It’s painful, frustrating and anything but easy.
But what about your business’s easy button? It’s a great question and one that has been challenging companies in recent months in areas they had never even considered in the past. I wonder how many companies had a strategy discussion around “Contactless pickup and/or delivery” prior to March 2020? Was it even a term used? The rules of engagement with the easy button have changed.
There are lots of ways to apply the easy button in your business. The obvious is how easy customers and clients can do business with your company. But a company can also have easy buttons with their employees and vendors/suppliers. Do your employees think your benefits are easy to access? Do your vendors view your company as one that is easy to work with?
When it comes to customers and clients here’s five easy buttons every business should have
- Easy purchasing process: Processes will vary with businesses and industries. Make sure your process is considered easy by your clientele? (i.e. the steps for buying a house are different than buying a pair of shoes on-line.)
- Contactless options: Have a contactless way of delivering your product or service; a way your customer perceives as easy and safe. The request for this will outlast the current pandemic.
- After the sale policies: A clear return, exchange, guarantee, and/or warranty (if applicable) for your product or service. Most importantly it should be easy for a customer to use should they have an issue.
- Be available: Every customer eventually needs assistance; an advisor or expert to help them. It may not be possible to have a live person available 100% of the time. But, a program that leaves the customer on-hold forever, dumped in a mailbox, or feeling unheard is a great way to sour a happy customer.
- A mobile friendly website: Having a website is given. Having a mobile-friendly website has become a must. Today, many businesses are adding mobile apps as a tool to complement their website. Customers are more likely to search for a business on their phone than on any other device. Products are researched, reviews are scanned. When your customers land on your site with their phone it needs to be easy for them to act if they’re ready.
What about your business? How is your business doing in the five areas listed above? Do you think your customers would think you’re doing as well you do? What are some other areas that could really benefit by having an easy button added to them? Have you uncovered any specifically in your business that you never thought of prior to this year?
As always, we value your comments in the space below.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach