If you want to create a great first impression and develop raving fans you have to start by removing barriers and making it easy. Easy for them… not just easy for you.
Barriers are those pinch points that confuse the customer or worse, stop them in their tracks. You’re lucky if you even hear of a barrier they’ve encountered because in most cases you won’t, they’ll just get frustrated, abort and never return… often sharing their negative experiences with others as well.
Barriers come in many shapes and sizes. Things like the layout of the website, the number of clicks it takes to complete a transaction, the usability, the interface, the signage directing them where to go, the hand-off from one area to the next, or anything else in between that shapes their perception of how it is to do business or interact with us in some way.
Removing barriers takes work and being brutally honest in evaluating everything to see, first off, where the barriers even exist.
The biggest problem is that many times we don’t even see it, and can even deny it, due to our own Curse of Knowledge which results from being too close to it and looking at it through the lens of our own perspective versus theirs.
It’s hard to step out of our own shoes and into someone else’s but we must make the effort and learn how to see it as they do… or someone else will.
It’s about putting them first. Not just saying it but meaning it by streamlining processes for their benefit, even if it means more work for us.
It’s about communication and clarity. Removing the confusion, the gaps and the unnecessary that just get in the way.
It’s asking tough questions about ourselves, what we do, why we do it and if it’s the best way or just the way it’s always been done.
If we value our customers and those we serve then we need to understand them and make it easy for them to do whatever it is we want them to do.
Making it easy isn’t easy but it’s the work that needs to be done.