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Removing friction from the customer experience | Yelp

Removing friction from the customer experience | Yelp
Written by publishing team

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Highly successful companies share a common feature: they have made the customer experience easy. And we’re not just talking about the deal. They improve every aspect of customer interaction. Things happen so smoothly that the customer doesn’t even notice how amazing their experience was in reality. It feels natural, and it makes them come back.

why? it is easy. The easier customers can obtain goods and services, the more—and oftentimes—they buy. In an increasingly crowded market, you can stand out from the competition by removing friction from the customer experience. Here’s how to make it happen in your business.

Take a different view

Before changing anything, look at your process from the perspective of your customers. You will likely have sticking points that reduce their experience. See where you can get those points friction-free, then make a plan to put some grease on those wheels.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

1. How do customers find you and is it easy for them?

You can’t sell if people don’t know you exist. Maybe you’re not using the right channel to spread the word about your business, or maybe you’re not personalizing your messages based on your platform and target audience.

The first step is to determine how customers are currently reaching you. Here are some examples of ways you might get new customers:

  • Personal Referrals
  • walking in traffic
  • Social media and digital marketing strategies

Make sure to market your business in all the places frequented by your target audience. Avoid relying on just one route and don’t be afraid to try new channels – you can always tweak your efforts depending on what’s best.

No matter what method, find out if customers are Easily Finding you. If they have to work on it or you rely on blind luck, you are unlikely to attract their attention and actions.

2. How do you feel when interacting with your work?

Once you grab the attention of customers, how do you encourage them to give you their hard-earned money? What might prevent them from working with you? Do all aspects of your customer-facing business provide a sense of comfort, or are you causing unnecessary stress, anxiety, or effort?

In this step, look for areas of opportunity to improve the overall customer experience. The main places to focus on are:

  • Product or service information
    • Access a list or list of offers
    • Item details are easy to understand
    • Clear choices encourage quick and confident decisions
  • Interact with clients
    • Access and convenience of customer service
      • Live chat for websites
      • Automatic responses to email inquiries
      • On-site and virtual employee training programs
    • Ease of scheduling, ordering products, etc.
      • Online booking
      • Dockside pickup and freight options
      • Yelp Business Page Tools
        • Yelp Guest Manager (Waiting List & Reservations)
        • request a quote
        • Availability of virtual consultations
  • Assurances and guarantees
    • Frequently asked questions, reviews and testimonials readily available
    • Policies regarding price match, warranty, cancellation, return, etc.
    • Identity and privacy protection
    • Safe financial transactions
  • Final Purchase
    • Updated sales technology (in-company and online)
    • payment methods
      • cash and/or check
      • credit cards
      • Digital Wallet Apps / Payment Providers
        • Apple Pay
        • PayPal
        • Google Pay
      • digital currency
    • Buying methods
      • On-site (at a brick-and-mortar site, farmers markets, conferences, etc.)
      • Branded website
      • Online and social media platforms
    • Incentives are used to overcome customer hesitation
      • Free or discounted shipping
      • Limited time discounts
      • Special offers for new customers
      • Buy one get one free deals
  • customer retention
    • Automated acquisition of customer information
      • Email, phone numbers, dates of birth, preferred color, etc.
    • Email or text ads
      • Targeted deals and discounts
      • New product announcements
      • Early bird specials
      • Personal and virtual events

Think about all the ways customers interact with your business and rate how hassle-free each experience is. Which ones hurt a little or maybe a lot?

Tip: If you are concerned about objectivity, ask others to give you their serious feedback. You can even hire the services of a professional, such as a mystery shopper or business consultant, to perform a more formal analysis of your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

3. What is your bridge from browsing to buying, and who is involved?

I’ve now reviewed how customers currently find you, as well as the nuts and bolts of their overall experience. Next, ask yourself how do you direct those same customers from window shopping to coin dropping?

This step relates to some of your work from the second question – paying particular attention to how customers complete the purchase and how it can be improved.

Put yourself in their shoes and run an exemplary transaction: your buying bridge. Depending on your business, you may have more than one (online, in your store, at fairs or festivals, etc.). Look at them all. Is the buying process natural and easy, or are there obstacles along the way? What protocols are in place to create a consistently positive buying experience?

Take physical retail. Do you start by greeting customers at the door, asking about their specific needs and desires, providing information about your products and services, offering a promotion, and then finishing by thanking you for visiting?

What about digital business? Is your website easy to navigate, professional looking and bug free? Do you make the entire transaction seamless, preventing customers from losing interest and abandoning their shopping cart?

Once you have identified the purchase bridge(s), think about who is responsible for making the sale. Are you a traditional business with in-house employees handling the shopping experience, a digital retailer with automated customer service, or introductory one-on-one interviews and acquisition of potential new clients?

Again, take a closer look at how things work. Is the bridge of purchase durable and easy to cross, or are there some issues that need to be fixed?

Photo by Lisa Summer

4. Do you have any other business steps to review?

Is there anything specific to your industry or your individual company that could affect the customer experience? Do you have clients who sign a contract or statement of work? Are you bound by legal requirements that require health bulletins or privacy policies? Are wire transfers or other lesser known financial transactions a normal part of the operations?

These unique steps can take potential customers off the right track, preventing them from completing their purchase. Give these steps special attention. Check if you make them as painless as possible.

Work on solving kinks

Now that you’ve identified the sticking points in your customers’ experience, it’s time to come up with solutions.

While some specific issues require unique actions, the steps below are a good starting point to help you work around the bumps you’ve found in the way:

1. Be organized

Take all the friction points you’ve identified, and prioritize them for action.

Which ones would give you the most bang for your buck if they were fixed? Are some related to others, in which one’s address leads to a chain of positive change? Which one can wait, and what is the motivation behind their implementation?

Decide what you want to tackle and in what order, then figure out how you’ll get there.

2. Make a plan

If you want any change to be successful, you need a plan. Take priority friction point repairs and break them down into actionable steps.

Create your initial framework using the list of interactions above under the second question. Put each fix into its own main category, then build the steps needed to make it work, including responsible.

3. Write it down

Turn your chart into a guide for you and your team. It doesn’t have to be a novel – just a simple, repeatable set of steps for each fix. Even if your entire team consists of just “me, and me,” write down your protocol, and then follow through.

4. Get everyone on the plane

The purpose of writing your own protocols is to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and follows them accordingly, every time. You can’t expect great results if you don’t have the tools to achieve them. You also need to remove friction from your (and your team’s) experience.

Photo by Amina Filkins

take action

Now that you and your team have your plan ready, put this kid into action! Once it’s up and running, be sure to check in periodically to make sure everything is working. Review things regularly, and adjust what doesn’t give you results.

Here is a good way to check the effectiveness of your friction point repairs:

1. Test your ways

Before you take that shopping cart live or roll out a new POS system, be sure to do some testing first. There will be some loopholes in the fix, and you’ll need to patch them before releasing it into the public domain.

2. Monitoring and measurement

What is measured gets managed. It is key to ensuring the success of any procedure. You need to know if your fix is ​​really working, and you can’t tell unless you monitor and measure it over time.

3. Be consistent

This is a big reason and the primary reason to create a how-to guide for you and your team. Correction requires consistency, both in technique and effort. If you drop any of the balls, you will end up with the same (if not worse) customer experience issues.

4. Tablet as needed

As the old saying goes, the only constant is change. Even if you have created the most narrow fix for friction points in the customer experience, situations are changing and you will need to adjust.

This is the place for the “Observe and Measure” step above. When something stops giving you the results you want, it’s time for a fix.

Let everyone know

You’ve identified the friction points in your business, figured out how to facilitate them, and made some great improvements to your customer experience. Now is the time to let the people know!

Have you improved your appointment scheduling process and want to populate your client calendar? Shout out from the top of the social media pinnacle, and don’t forget to provide the link.

Has the customer sharing protocol been created or updated in your list? Have your employees implement it and provide feedback on the new customer experience.

Offering takeout and delivery options through Yelp? Share it with your customers.

Be the beacon your customers are looking for

Customers crave businesses that make them feel comfortable and well taken care of. Removing friction from their experience is an excellent way to turn your business into a beacon they are looking for.

Following the above steps can help achieve this, giving you a serious edge over the competition.

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