Companies that have products want to improve them year-on-year. All to often that means adding features that some users will love, but others not so much. Yet the latter group has to pay for them both in cost and frustration. This is especially important to consider as we move increasingly into the “experience economy”.
We see this in lots of the presentations, where the desire not to leave anything leads to presentations that are long, have too much text, are poorly organized and make it difficult virtually impossible to really understand the key point every customer needs to know. In a program on competitive advantage, an Investor Relations expert was asked to share the key reason people should buy. After fumbling through the 43 page presentation, the answer was found – in a footnote on page 21!
Mike Shipulski, poses an interesting standard that all of us should follow in designing presentations, service and products: In an interesting article, Make Life Easy for Your Customers. Look at his list of a dozen ways of making life easier for customers – and see how many apply to you.
His first standard is applies to any business with a website. We try to make them informative, attractive, easy to read, easy to navigate, etc.; if it’s an ecommerce site, does the customer find it easy to make a purchase, or ask for a return, or speak to customer service (which shouldn’t be necessary if it was truly easy for the person to navigate all needs on his.her own). Yet, too often we rely on our own assessment of whether we’ve succeeded in all the ways that would make it easy for the customer… but less often do we truly get input from real customers or even potential ones. I often hear that a button for purchasing was NOT easy to find or use – because no-one actually tested the link! Moreover, are you testing the site regularly to make sure that everything is still working as it should. All too often – and it’s happened to me – links stop working and we haven’t checked that it’s still easy to use!
His actual standard is “Make it easy to find you.” Remember, if they can’t, they can’t buy from you.You can spend lots of money on Google ad words to drive traffic to your website, but that’s more expensive than making it “findable” using organic SEO design principles. For instance, some CEOs with whom I work at Vistage, have learned the “findable” principles and redesigned their websites to make it easier for organic search to find them. One, who never got business from his website and used it a “credibility brochure” made the change and within one month received 4 inquires from large companies and generated over $500,000 in new business. Best yet, making it easier for people to find the website keeps generating new leads and sales.
So regardless of your business – make it easier for your customers to work with you. We’ve been telling you for years – regardless of what you present , follow the ADAP principle: Be audience-driven with an authentic presentation of how the customer can easily work with you!