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The old adage that people buy from (and become repeat customers of) people and businesses they know, like and trust is true. This month I’m focusing on the “like” part of that equation. Nobody likes organizations, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, that are a pain in the neck to deal with. Everyone likes those, such as Apple, that make the experience enjoyable and fun.

If there’s anything negative about dealing with your company, now’s a good time to do something about it.



ELIMINATE THE FRICTION


Recently I was the first to dial in to a conference call, so the system put me into the obligatory “music on hold” purgatory. Some song from the radio was playing on an endless loop. Or so I assumed…until I started listening to the lyrics. By the time my client got on the line I was laughing out loud. The music on hold was a song about being on hold. It was so completely unexpected that it made what is usually a negative experience—waiting on hold—fun.

Which got me to thinking: How can other companies apply this principle to their businesses? In concept I think it’s just a two-step process…

Identify the friction points – Start by listing what it is about the buying and/or product/service delivery processes in your industry that usually cause customers the most pain. These are the annoyances that prospects expect to experience. Things like the cable company’s 12-hour service window or trying to figure out if that piece of art you like will look good over your sofa.

Next identify any additional friction points that are more specific to your business. These are potential annoyances that prospective customers are not anticipating.

Find ways to turn the experience around – For example, my best friend is an excellent photographer. Her website has a slick feature that uses augmented reality to let you see exactly what one of her images will look like in your home. It’s unexpected and fun.

Another example: When my kids were little, their pediatrician had little footprints going from the building door to their office door. These footprints made walking down to the doctor’s appointment a game instead of something to dread.

To make your company more likable don’t settle for “just” eliminating the negatives. Take things a step further and create surprising positives.



CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: CATHERINE BALCK PHOTOGRAPHY

Beautify your home or office with gorgeous images of nature and stunning travel scenes from award-winning photographer Catherine Balck. Choose from an array of images (with additional images being regularly added to the mix), each available in a big variety of sizes and finishes. Get “just the print” or have it delivered already matted, or framed and ready to hang. These images make fabulous gifts as well.

To learn more, check out the website that I helped Catherine create (I wrote the “Home” and “About the Artist” pages, and edited the rest) at www.CatherineBalck.com. While you’re there, check out the augmented reality feature that lets you see how a given image will look in your room.



What Others Are Saying

"Geez, Linda, you sure write well!"

Ray Johnston
President, Lido Property Management