Editor’s note: A version of this article appeared on Shep Hyken’s blog and is adapted here with permission.
My latest book, The Convenience Revolution, is all about making the customer experience as frictionless as possible. In the book, there are six “convenience principles” with plenty of examples, and many of our followers have read my articles and watched my videos on these concepts. Recently, I was interviewed and asked, “How does one get started?”
My answer was simple and applicable to any type and any size of business. Below is a basic explanation of the process. It’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Step 1: Identify Touchpoints
First, start with mapping out every touchpoint your customer has with any aspect of your company. It can be an interaction on your website, a form they fill out, the checkout process, how they are greeted when they walk in your store or building, how the phone is answered, how the invoice is received, and much, much more. Every touchpoint must be identified.
Step 2: Remember: Details Count
Be as detailed as possible with every touchpoint. For example, if you sell from your website, how many steps does it take for a customer to check out? How many lines of information do they fill out? Get as detailed as possible.
Step 3: Analyze Each Touchpoint
This is the fun part of the process. At each touchpoint, look for a way to reduce friction. Where can you eliminate a step? Where can you eliminate or reduce a customer’s effort? Is there any redundancy that can be eliminated? Can you deliver rather than make the customer come to you?
Step 4: Execute
Now that you’ve identified (in great detail) and analyzed the touchpoints, you’re not finished until you take action.
Even the smallest reduction of friction counts. And, sometimes, it makes you money. Amazon all but eliminated the typical checkout process with its one-click buying option. And, then they did one better with the Amazon Dash buttons. You push a button that looks like a doorbell and your product just shows up. I could imagine a group of smart Amazon employees sitting around the table answering the question, “I wonder if there is a way for our customers to order products without having to turn on their computer or open an app on their smartphone?” The result was Dash buttons.
The goal of reducing friction is to make the experience convenient and save the customer time. So, have a great product, offer great customer service and be more convenient. That’s a combination that is hard to beat.
A version of this article by Shep Hyken appeared on his Customer Service Blog. You can read the full version here.