Stop Hassling Your Customers
When is the last time you waited in a painfully long line because the staff couldn’t open a new register, or were charged a “convenience fee” to pay a bill online, or spent 10 minutes on a website just trying to find basic contact information? How about the number of unclear emails you receive in a day, complicated invoices, and time spent waiting to reach a contact at your supplier? These little hassles sneak into so many interactions, slowly degrading the ease of an experience.
To help businesses identify these often overlooked areas, Adrian Slywotzky recommends a hassle map. A hassle map is “all the actual steps that characterize the negative experiences of the customer.” Think of it as touchpoint mapping with a focus on the negative. But the purpose is the same – to uncover areas where your company is creating unnecessary barriers in the customer journey.
Identifying these areas provides a massive opportunity for differentiation. Consider Newegg. A common practice for online technology retailers is to feign product depth by not showing when an item is out of stock. The customer purchases it, the company takes the money, and the customer is left waiting for weeks while the middleman orders the item and gets it shipped. Newegg does not do this. When an item is out of stock they immediately reflect this on their website. Removing this common hassle has allowed them to build a devoted customer base.
The hassles of doing business with you may make it easier for employees or save you a bit of money or perhaps even make some money. But what you save in time and money you lose in customer engagement. Want to create an innovative customer experience that changes your industry? Look for those common hassles that you and your competition hardly see anymore because they are ‘industry standard’. Then, remove them. Simply put, stop hassling your customers.
Photos courtesy of: Federico Stevanin