G’day g’day. Jason here for another episode of the Business Made Easy
Podcast, Where We Make Business Easy.
Whatever you’re up to, I hope you’re well, and business is travelling in the
right direction for you, you’re too stressed and having some fun along the
way, kicking some goals; that’s what it’s all about. I certainly want to help you
do that as much as possible. Thank you so much for being here, it’s been a
busy week, I’ve been down in Sydney this last week for a mastermind group
that I’m involved with down there. We meet every quarter; a group of 20-odd
businesses and we chew the fat and discuss the latest on social media trends
and the latest trends in business and all those sorts of things. Some business
owners doing some amazing things and certainly, I’ll share those things with
you as we go along on this journey together.
Today’s episode is an episode just with me; it’s a solo episode, and I want to
share with you a subject that I feel extremely passionate about. It’s a topic
that was a lesson I learnt many, many years ago and I continue to apply in our
business now as much as possible. Also, I see it everywhere I go too; see it not
being done, and it’s the concept of never making it too difficult for your
customer to deal with you.
What I’m talking about there is that we can create barriers – unintentional
barriers at times that stop our customer from having an enjoyable experience
when they’re interacting with us. Now, this applies whether you’re an online
business or a physical bricks and mortar business; whatever business you’re
in, you can create these barriers that are an obstacle I guess in terms of your
customer dealing with you. I basically have this saying that I apply to my
coaching clients, I say look, you can never make it too easy for somebody to
deal with you, and that’s I guess the message here. You can never make it too
easy for somebody to deal – to do business with you.
We see instances of this everywhere, and I’ll give you an example. I went by
the local night owl recently, and I stopped by, and I was talking to the owner,
and I said, “G’day, Stuart, how are you going mate,” and, “Good, you know,
actually a barrier when you walk up. Again, it’s making it easier for the
customer to deal with you.
Now, this goes on everywhere, and there are many, many instances of it in
businesses. You can walk into any business – for instance, the difference
between having electric doors on your business – when a customer walks up
to your front door and the doors automatically open, that is a nicer
experience for a customer walking into a shop than if they’ve got to
physically tussle with the door, they’re pulling at the door and they should be
pushing and that sort of situation. Keep that in mind when you’re looking
around your business and just ask yourself, how easy are we making it for our
customers to deal with us.
Now, it goes not just from physical entry into the store, and not just being in
your premises, but it also goes with transacting with you. How easy am I
making it for my customer to buy from me, what’s the user experience like or
the customer experience like when they transact with my business, how do
they feel when they come into my business.
Now, I’m not saying everyone should go out and get electric doors put on
their business, and certainly if you’re in an online business that’s not going to
be possible anyway. What I am saying though is if you do have a door that
only swings one way, clear signage on the door that actually says push or pull
at eye level so that – not down low; have it at eye level so that when someone
walks up to the door, within reason – walks up to the door, they can clearly
identify what they have to do I guess. It just provides clear instruction and
then when they get in the door, how easy is it to approach the counter, is
everything fairly self-explanatory once your customer is in your shop? Do
you have everything clearly labelled, if you’re in the physical product type
store, is it easy to find products?
I think we get caught up in selling the things sometimes and trying to do the
business instead of actually look at the customer experience and let them
just transact with us naturally rather than – I think we tend to look internally
sometimes and overlook just how that customer feels when they are coming
into the store.
Now, I know there are all different customers of shapes and sizes and people
that have different ideas of what good customer service is and bad customer
service is. I think if we actually have a focus on this in our culture within
organisations, then we really can get some really good, nice fine-tuned
results that please the general populous.
The ones I see – I mean, there’s one situation here that we have mainly in
Australia as far as I understand it; it doesn’t happen so much in the US, but
one of the things I’ll use an example for hear – actually this happened to my
wife. She walked into a store recently to buy two bottles of water. Now, the
two bottles of water cost $2.40 each, so that’s $4.80 for the two bottles of
water. She walked up to the counter to pay with her pay wave card and the
shop assistant said, “I’m sorry, we don’t – there’s a fee for using your card
under $5.” Now, she had two bottles of water at $4.80, so there’s a 20-cent
shortfall off the five dollar mark, but this is the type of thing that I’m talking
about. She actually had to buy a Chuppa Chup lollipop that she didn’t want in
order to get her transaction over the $5 mark just so she could pay for the
goods; the two bottles of water that she wanted to buy.
Now that, to me, is just crazy. Talk about making it difficult, be thankful
you’re getting a transaction – you’ve got a sale. It swings in roundabouts too,
what that person has now done in their business is actually stopped my wife
from ever going in there ever again. Now, they may have incurred a fee
because the card was under $5 from their bank or their merchant, but think
of the customer experience that’s gone on in that shop. She’s a customer
that’s willing to buy in their store and possibly be a returning customer, but
there’s no way she’ll ever be a returning customer now because her
experience was so bad. We’ve still got the Chuppa Chup lollipop sitting here
at home because we don’t eat them, and we look at it in bewilderment as to
the rationale behind that sort of logic.
That’s what I’m talking about when we’re talking about customer experience
and never making it too difficult for your customer to deal with.
Now bank fees and charges are one thing in Australia, it seems to be an
Australian thing, I noticed it doesn’t happen – and I believe it doesn’t happen
too much in the US. Charging a fee to a customer to use their card with you is
just crazy. An example of that is I went to the Hilton Hotel, I had to go to a
conference, and I parked my car at the Hilton, and the guy parked my car for
me. He said, “That’ll be $50,” and I said – that’s for the day, and I said, “Thank
you, that’s great.” He parked the car and then when I went to pay at the
reception counter. Now, this is the Hilton Hotel; this is a nice hotel. I walked
up to the counter to pay, and I pulled out my card to pay, and she goes, “I’m
sorry, Mr Skinner, there’s a $3 fee for using your card to pay for the parking
now.” Now, that’s crazy, I mean my whole experience – I had a nice entry into
the car park, the valet greeted me nicely and parked my car. I go upstairs to
pay, and that was my last impression, the $3 service fee that they’re going to
charge me and penalise me for using my card.
I see this all the time, it’s just – and apologise if I’m having a bit of a rant here,
but it really just is a crazy situation. If they had have said to me, “Mr Skinner,
the parking’s $55 for the day,” and that’s it, I would’ve been happy with that.
My whole experience would have been totally different, but my last
experience of leaving that premises was that they slug me an extra $3 just for
using my card, it was a penalty. We don’t want to penalise our customers for
doing business with us. This is what I want you to, I guess, have a think about,
and it’s something that I think about all the time in our business. Are we
making it as easy as possible for people to deal with us?
Do we offer all payment types? Do we allow Amex? Do we allow Diners Club?
If they choose to pay us with those methods of payment, we should be
welcoming the fact that they’re paying us and be happy that they are actually
paying us. Now, I do know that some cards and some payment services have a
higher charge rate, a higher fee than others, but this is where the science
comes in. We need to sit down and work out what is that true cost each year
of when we accept those cards, what does that actually look like, and then
build that into our overhead structure. When we do our budgeting and our
analysis of our financials, that’s the time where we sit down and work out
what are we losing versus what are we gaining passing that fee on? Really,
you need to look and try and factor that into your cost structure as opposed
to penalising your customer for dealing with you.
Now, it does get tricky I must admit if you’re in a very price-sensitive service
or you have a price-sensitive offering. If there’s an item for $2 in one shop
and it’s $2 everywhere else, I admit it’s very hard to put an extra 20 cents on
that. However, I do believe that if you have a great product, a great service
and you’re really wowing your customers when they come in your door,
they’re not going to quibble over the extra 20 cents. I do feel that by charging
them an extra charge at the register, you really are eroding any goodwill –
you’re missing a big opportunity to leave your customer feeling like they’ve
received their best from you. That’s what it’s all about, I guess when I’m
saying we can’t make it too hard for our customer to deal with us.
If you’re in an online business, it goes exactly the same way. What does your
website – how fluent is your website to get around? When your customer
lands on your website, do they know exactly where to go, is it taking them
exactly where they need to go? Do your menus flow, do they make logical
sense and lead the customer on a journey with you so that they get to know
you and feel good about being in your space, and you make them feel like
great from the moment they enter the site right through to when they leave
the site. This is really an important area in the online space. Then, when they
go to pay, can they use different methods of payment and are there
attractive freight options, and can we package things so that the customer
experience is nothing less than great the whole time?
Those great experiences turn customers into advocates for you. In the days
where we’re scrambling to – a really noisy environment, there’s a lot of
competition out there in all fields; technology is driving more and more noise
so it’s really harder to get cut through and email marketing’s saturated. It’s all
hard work, so you want to make sure that when someone does come in that
door, whether it be physical into your shop, or online, whatever business
you’re doing, even if it’s a service business, you want that experience to be,
“Wow, I’m in the right place,” from day one.
Now, that takes a lot of work, but it’s not impossible, and you’ve only got to
look at the successful businesses. I mean, I’ll use McDonald’s as an example
again, but their product and their service and their shop is consistently the
same, and whether you like it or not, it’s consistent, and it’s the same, and it’s
a complete experience when you go in there and come out. There are many,
many other examples of that as well.
The point that I’m making here is to have a good look around your business
when you’re doing your planning, or you’re analysing your business, stop and
have a look at what your business premises is like even down to the levels of
communication. Are you providing as many forms of communication as
possible? There’s a lot of different ways clients or customers like to
communicate these days. I know with our new website on our business,
we’ve just put a live chat facility on there for instance, so that allows people
to go onto our website and they can have questions answered, or they can
get a query answered pretty well 24/7 because there’s this live chat facility.
They’re there, there and then, so they want to know an answer there, and
these sorts of facilities allow that to happen.
Have a think about that. In your business, what are you doing that could be
foreseen as potential obstacles to your customer experience, and what can
you do to alleviate them, I guess that’s my message for today for you. If
there’s anything you can do to move them out of there or make that
experience a lot better, then certainly you should look to implement that.
That’s what I wanted to cover with you today. It’s a relatively short topic, but
it’s an important topic, and I’d be really interested in your thoughts if you had
further thoughts on that. Something that you’ve come across in your
business where you’ve identified it as an obstacle that other listeners could
benefit from. I’d love to hear that as well because it really is an unspoken
about topic, but it’s one that I really, really feel passionate about, and I hope
that you can see the benefit of that in implementing it in your business as
If you haven’t already subscribed to the show, by all means, please go over to
iTunes and hit the subscribe button over there; I’d love to have you on board
there. Equally, if you’ve got a question that you’d like answered in your
business, please go over to the businessmadeasypodcast.com website, and
there’s a record button over there, you can push the record button, and I’ll
get your question answered. Our last question was from Sam, and we
dedicated a whole episode from that, and it was a really great episode thanks
Go over there to the businessmadeeasypodcast.com website, and you can
record your business question there, and we’ll answer it for you there.
Thank you very much for joining me, I do appreciate your time, and I do hope
you’re getting value out of these episodes. Drop me a line if you’ve got any
feedback that you want to share with me, by all means, I’d love to hear that as
well, that’s at [email protected] Until next week here’s
to your success and Mia’s going to take us out. Thanks, Mia. Bye.