Maybe the advice to “play hard to get” works when it comes to romantic relationships, but it certainly does not apply to your small business’s relationship with its customers. Ask yourself: how hard are you asking your customers to work? Are your customers able to find you through social media platforms easily? Are your messages clear and to the point or do they have to think about them a little first? The harder your customers have to work to get your product, find you on Facebook, or figure out your menu, the less likely they are to engage. And to recap from an earlier post, by engagement we mean become aware of your brand, buying your product or service and providing feedback.
This refers to the principle of least effort which applies to everything from the way our bodies metabolize food to the way people use a website. Humans, animals and machines will all take the path of least resistance – they will exert the least amount of effort in hopes of maximum results. The harder you ask your customers to work, the more effort they will have to exert, and if the results aren’t great enough the more likely they will be to disengage. Disengagement = unhappy customers. Unhappy customers = no profit.
Moral of the story: don’t make your customers work too hard. Below are a few things to think about in terms of the way your business is set up in order to determine just how much effort you are requiring of your customers.
On dry land
Overall you want to know how much effort is required of your customers to get to you and purchase your product or service. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is there parking close by? Do they have to pay for it?
- Is there room for them in your establishment? How comfortable is it?
- Are your menus easy to read? Prices easy to see?
- Is it clear where the check-out counter is and what methods of payment you accept?
- Is it easy to tell if you are open or closed and what your hours of operation are?
In the virtual sea
It is obvious that the Internet is becoming more and more pervasive in all aspects of our lives. The internet has made our everyday functions more convenient, to the point where we now expect to have access to pretty much any information at the touch of a keystroke. This includes information about your business. Customers expect that you will have a website, Facebook and Twitter, at the very least. And they will expect to be able to find your website, Facebook and Twitter easily. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself about your web presence to see how hard it is for your customers to find you online and use your online resources.
- When you type the name of your business in to Google, how hard is it to find you?
- How hard is it to navigate your website? Is it easy to find locations, hours of operation and products and services offered, or is it too cluttered?
- Enter the name of your business in to the Twitter search box and click “People” – are you one of the first to show up on the list? What about on Facebook?
- How many fields must they fill out before they are able to leave a comment, ask a question or sign up for e-mail alerts?
Don’t forget: Your business is your job and you should do the work, not them.
These types of questions are only a baseline. To really understand how hard you are asking your customers to work you will need to ask yourself a whole slew of more specific questions. These questions will be specific to your industry and possibly even to your individual establishment. Contact our Founder, Steve Murphy if you’d like to set up a consultation and he will refer you to which one of us is most qualified to advise you depending on your industry and your specific needs.