Friction Drives Away Customers
On the phone with a customer this morning I was describing the Less Meeting onboarding process and how we make it as frictionless as possible to get started. At the word “frictionless” she lit up and I knew she was hooked.
To think about why this struck a chord with her, focus less on frictionless and more on it’s opposite – friction.
Friction in your customer experience is the #1 way to drive away those customers. Customers are fraught with distractions, competitors, budgets, time and other priorities, and each friction point in your product tips the scales away from you.
(…unless you have the luxury of users who are required to use it. If you’ve filed your corporate registration docs in GA before you know what I mean.)
Friction Is Everywhere
It’d be an easy problem to solve if there was a single area to focus all your effort on. The challenge is that friction permeates your whole business: the product, marketing, sales, support, etc.
- Understanding the Benefit – Will they want to hear your pitch?
- Signing up – Will they try your product?
- Onboarding – Will they figure out how to use your product?
- Billing – Will they be willing to pay for your product?
- Handling Problems – Will they still want to use your product when (not if!) problems arise?
We could go on but you get the point.
Great Frictionless Customer Experiences
It’s possible to get it right though. Think about these companies:
- Dropbox – Frictionless marketing means getting customers who say “I didn’t realize I needed this” to “Unexpected happiness” and telling friends.
- Costco – Frictionless sampling means that at noon on a Saturday there’s no need to eat lunch; just stroll the aisles and eat all the samples. The food industry knows there’s a big hurdle to both buying & then preparing their food, so why not give you a first taste for free?
- Apple – Frictionless onboarding means enjoying the unpacking experience, seeing this entirely new kind of device, and instantly knowing how to use it, simply by intuition.
- Uber – Frictionless billing means no more awkward tipping or getting yelled at by a cabbie who doesn’t want to take credit cards.
- Bonobos – Frictionless return policy means I can order the same shirt in two sizes to see which fits…and.
What about you? How are you making your customer’s experience as smooth as possible?