Convenience is a commodity that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It has a value that people will pay top dollar for. Instead of having to go out of their way to get something, people will happily pay to have it delivered. The popularity of Amazon Prime and Grubhub is built on convenience. How can you make your business more convenient? What if you can’t be more convenient? The next best thing is brand loyalty. Creating a passionate following will make people want to do business with you, even if you aren’t the most convenient option.
The Customer Relationship
Part of being more convenient than the competition is knowing what your customers want. What issues have they had with other businesses? Getting to know your customers and developing a relationship will help you uncover the inconveniences they want to avoid.
Customers can experience friction in many ways. How easy is it to find the business? How long does it take to find the product/service you’re looking for? How confident are you in the product/service you’re being sold? Amazon is one of the leaders in reducing friction, offering free shipping, carrying nearly every product imaginable, and showing customer reviews to help you make your decision. Whatever you can do to make the buying process easier and less stressful will encourage customers to buy from you. What if you offer services that won’t benefit from free shipping? Find other ways to reduce friction. Are your customers working 9-to-5 jobs? Make yourself available when they’re not working. Bring your service to them if you can. The fewer hoops they have to jump through, the happier they’ll be.
Offer Self Service
Giving customers the option of self service can be super convenient. If you need to go to the grocery store for two items, it’s much easier to take them through the self-checkout line instead of waiting in line for a cashier. On the other hand, if you’ve got a full cart and items like produce that need to be keyed in, it’s easier to go through the normal checkout process. Having the self-service option available, but not required, gives customers the option to quickly get their business taken care of.
From accepting payments to scheduling appointments, technology can be a great way to add convenience to your business. It’s important that the technology is used to make things easier, and not just for the sake of having new technology. If it makes things more complicated and harder to achieve the goal, it won’t be worth it. Along with implementing new technology comes training. The most advanced computer system won’t do you any good if your team doesn’t know how to use it. At VantagePoint, we provide free training after building a website. Once your website is up and running, we make sure you know how to use it, giving you the opportunity to do it yourself or have us help if needed.
Allowing customers to set up a subscription can help them get the things they need on a regular basis. Instead of having to remember to buy furnace filters every 6 months, they’ll be ready to go and automatically delivered, giving the customer a reminder that it’s time to change the filters.
If you can save the customer the trip of going to your location, they’re much more likely to buy from you. Amazon has standardized the expectation of shipping, so if you’re able to bring your product/service to the customer, you’ll come out ahead.
If you’re only available on weekdays from 9 to 5, many of your customers are going to be at work. If you’re open later in the day, people have more opportunities to do business with you. Your website is available 24/7, and even if you’re not selling products directly from your website, it’s a great way to provide information without having to meet one-on-one with every person. Answering common questions can let people know that you’re the place for them.
These tips can help you make your business more convenient and more successful. Remember to think of your customers and how to make things easier for them.