I think that there is a revolution taking place in the world of business. I call it The Convenience Revolution, and I’ve written an entire book about it and how you can use convenience to take your customer service to the next level.
This revolution is affecting all kinds of industries – not just retail – as some companies are developing new ways of doing business that make life easier for the customer.
Do you shop on Amazon?
If not, you’re in a very small minority. The online retailer that began as a bookseller has branched out into almost every product market imaginable, and it has gained millions of customers along the way. Most online shoppers look to Amazon first, for everything from toys and electronics to clothing and food, and everything in between.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I believe Amazon is the most convenient company in the world. Thanks to its large selection, low prices, and convenient shopping experience, it disrupted the entire retail industry. And, I believe that the true secret to Amazon’s success is in the convenience it offers.
Its convenient features include two-day delivery, one-click ordering, and easy returns. It continues to innovate with various subscription options, Alexa, its voice-activated virtual assistant, and more. Millions of customers love the easy shopping experience that Amazon offers.
Another example of a business that created a more convenient process and disrupted an entire industry is Uber.
Uber came up with a business model that turned the taxicab industry upside down. It made nearly every step of the process easier and more convenient for customers. Basically, all customers have to do is open the Uber app and type in a destination.
They will be notified how far away the driver is, and the driver will be dispatched to pick them up. Completing the transaction is easier, too. No money changes hands; just get out of the car and Uber charges your credit card. It’s easy and frictionless.
It’s like magic.
It’s no wonder Uber changed the whole industry.
Why said convenience is so important?
Customers want to do business where and when it is easiest for them. What they don’t want is friction – something that causes conflict or resistance – because in most cases, people’s lives are already complicated and stressful enough.
Anything that makes life easier for the customer is a winning strategy. The company that can find a more convenient approach can disrupt its competition – and maybe even its entire industry.
Think about your customer interactions. Perhaps you’ve had feedback from one or more customers who have pointed out a problem – or friction point – in your process.
Even if you haven’t had any negative feedback, you can review, step by step, your customer’s journey. Look for ways to eliminate any stumbling blocks that might be slowing down the process (in other words, taking more of the customer’s valuable time). Speed it up, streamline it, and find a way to make your customer’s life easier.
Maybe you’re thinking that you aren’t ready to disrupt an entire industry, but would you like to win customers from your direct competitors? From the examples above, you can see the overwhelming advantage that convenience can offer.
Even if you’re not out to take over your industry, by making customers’ lives easier, you can win more business on a local scale.
I have a personal example of this I would like to share. For more than 20 years, I had been doing business with the same car dealership. The people there were friendly and, more importantly, they were located not far from my office, so that if I had to drop my car off for service I could walk to work if no loaners were available.
One day, however, I happened to be driving past a competing dealership and I saw a beautiful new car in the showroom window. I just had to stop and look at it, but I was upfront with the salesman and told him that I would ultimately buy from my regular dealership because it was so conveniently close to my work and home. And, that is when he upped the convenience game.
He told me that any time my car needed any kind of service he would have a new car delivered to my home for me to drive until my car was ready.
He said, “The next time you come back to this dealership won’t be for an oil change. It will be to buy your next car.”
Wow. Talk about convenience.
I bought my car there and I’ve been a loyal customer ever since.
As you read about these companies, I hope it got you thinking about how you could be more convenient, about how you could make your customers’ lives easier. If you want to be truly successful, you have to do more than meet your customers’ needs, even more than offer good customer service.
You have to be convenient.
It sounds simple, but when put to use as a business strategy, more powerful than you could imagine. Here is a list of the six ways I have identified for you to be more convenient for your customers.
- Reduce Friction – Develop an easier, frictionless way to do business with your customers, helping to establish a competitive edge in the marketplace.
- Technology – Using technology to make life easier for your customer. You can, for example, start using live chat and provide better customer experience.
- Self-Service – In some circumstances, customers like having control. Give them a knowledge base or FAQ section.
- Subscription – The concept of subscription is no longer just for a newspaper or magazine that shows up at the same time every week or every month.
- Delivery – Why make the customer come to you when you can go to them.
- Access – Some companies are more accessible than others; their hours of operation, their location(s) and more.
I am so excited about the concept of convenience, and I hope you will let me help you on your journey to being more convenient.
It’s the next-level way you and your business can be amazing!
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