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How to Drive Customers Crazy

Are you making it easy for your customers, or are you making them jump through hoops?

I have the wonderful ability to work virtually — my office is wherever I have my Mac and an Internet connection. The Internet being the Internet, one can easily get distracted. So, to stay focused on work, part of my morning ritual is to check my email (personal and business), Facebook, pay bills, etc. — stuff I don’t want distracting me throughout the day. I work with an amazing team and for some pretty awesome clients, and I want to be able to focus as best I can during the day.

So when I received an email saying my daughter’s gaming discount subscription was about to expire, I decided not to put off renewing it, and went right to the site (from a link in the email) to take care of it, thinking it would be a more efficient use of my time.

On the site, I look and look. I see how many points my daughter has, various other gaming magazine offers, and look for where I can renew her subscription. Surely, after this email to renew my subscription, I’d be directed to a big button that says, Renew Your Subscription Now! Nope.

I re-read the email closely. Ah, there’s the message, buried: “Go into the store and renew.”

WHAT?! They emailed me! They linked me to their website! And they won’t let me SPEND MY MONEY WITH THEM in a way that is easy for me? (Sorry, I don’t mean to yell.)  I want to write: “Dear GameStop, I live nearly 40 miles from your nearest store — yes, the middle of nowhere — can you please make it easy for me to give you my money?”

GameStop isn’t the only one guilty of this. I encounter this frequently online —even when I’m trying to pay bills. Why is it so difficult to pay for the services I receive?

So here’s the big question: Are you making it easy for your clients to do business with you, or are you making them jump through hoops?

Now, you might be thinking that since you yourself don’t have an ecommerce site, this doesn’t apply. But not so fast, Spanky!  Your site has a purpose. Are you making it easy for the people coming to your site to do what they what to do?  Are you leading visitors through your site in such a way that they will do what you want them to do?

One of the things I have the privilege of doing is working with our clients, applying Persona Architecture to their websites and other marketing efforts. Persona Architecture is the process of recognizing that not everybody prefers to do things the same way as you do (or your website developer does).

It’s vital not simply to know the demographics of your clients, but also the temperaments of your clients, and make sure you’re meeting the needs of all of them, in the way they prefer.

For example, if I were an extroverted spontaneous type, I would probably jump at the chance to go into GameStop and renew my subscription.  Lots of games, great gaming conversation, woo-hoo!  I’m so there!

Conversely, if I were a busy introverted competitive type, I’d likely want to renew the subscription and be done with it.  (In reality, I am a humanistic, which means I will go into the store to renew the subscription because it will make my daughter happy, which will in turn make me happy, but as someone who can easily function as the other temperaments as well, the introverted competitive in me will not be happy that this task is not already completed.)

Here are a few things to make it easy for your clients (and for you):

  • Recognize that you know your product or service so well that you are “inside the bottle,” and that your clients and visitors do not have the same perspective as you. Climb out of the bottle and try to look at it from their point of view.
  • Ask a friend or colleague who has a different temperament than you to go to your site with the intent to do “whatever it is people come to your site to do.” Could they do it easily? If not, ask them what would make it easy for them.
  • Check with your customer service staff to find out what your customers are saying, and fix what they say is broken. After all, they are the ones on the front lines hearing from your customers.
  • Recognize that not everyone prefers to do something on your site the same you would prefer to do it.

It’s frustrating when our preferences aren’t being met on a website that has our attention.

I would love to hear of a time when a site wonderfully met or exceeded your expectations! Please share so that we can all learn and improve!

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4 Responses to “How to Drive Customers Crazy”

  1. Enin Serdna October 4, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    I’m hooked with group buying sites and one particular site surprised be with their functionality and website integration.

    They offer usual payment methods like PayPal, credit/debit cards and even G-Cash (mobile wallet) but I was pleasantly surprised when they started offering OTC (over the counter) bank deposits and even via 7-11 (convenience store: almost one in every corner) counters.

    Its a leap from their competitors since group buying is fairly new to us, most don’t have credit/debit cards to begin with. Sometimes, people just learn of the promotion from a friend and have no constant access to computers / over the internet. This method definitely takes care of customer base online and offline.

  2. Andrea Reindl October 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    A time when a site totally blew my mind…www.realage.com has a test that you can take called the Real Age test. I’m pretty healthy and however I do have bad knee (old skiing accident) and I indicated that in the test. From that time forward every time I would jump around on the realage site, there were ads in the right side bar with a cure for knee problems…interesting!

  3. Kirsten Nelson October 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I’m a WAHM, and brick and mortar shopping experiences have lost their luster now that I have two young anti-shoppers. One of my favorite sites is Amazon.com. When I’m online, I want to get what I need quickly and easily. Amazon lets me quickly and easily search for what I want, compare prices, read reviews, find related items, and then buy my selected items with one click and it will be delivered right to my doorstep!

    All this without having to wrestle a single child into a car seat. Love it!

  4. Msgdlsmithret November 17, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    I spend over $5k a year shopping on line.  I hate to go to to downtown stores, fight parking, get a shopping cart little “Snurdley” threw up on, maybe an hour ago and no one cleaned it up.  Or the cart the lady changed her child’s diaper on, and never wiped it down with anything.  Stark reality is, you do not know what your shopping cart has been enduring out there and you are about to throw your goods in there.  I use Pay Pal and shop on line for everything but food.  It’s fast and easy and I can use my pay pal debit card for gasoline and other local purchases.  It is safe.  Been using it for 7 years now.

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