Do you know what your customers really want? While you might think they’re looking for whatever products or services you sell, they’re really seeking convenience. If you aren’t appealing to this desire for convenience, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Convenience: Customers Demand It
We live in a world where we have everything we could ever want right at our fingertips. If you want a bite to eat, you can zip through a drive-thru window or have something delivered to you – wherever you are. If you need a ride somewhere, just call an Uber. Want to watch a movie? Pull up Netflix on your TV. Don’t know the answer to a question? Google it. Want to hear your favorite song? Just tell Siri to play it on Spotify.
We live in a world where there are very few boundaries. If you want something, you don’t have to wait very long. While this is exciting from a customer’s perspective, it cranks up the pressure on businesses – particularly small businesses that don’t have advanced technological capabilities.
The good news is that your business doesn’t need deep pockets or advanced innovation to give customers what they crave. All you have to do is understand the desire for convenience and orient your products and services in such a way that they prioritize the removal of friction and streamline what are otherwise cumbersome processes.
4 Ways to Give Customers Convenience
The more convenient you make your customers lives, the stronger their brand loyalty will be. Not sure where to start? Let’s provide a few suggestions:
Do Something the Competition Doesn’t
What is convenience? In the most basic form, it’s providing an easier way of doing something. The simplest way to do this for your customers is by doing something that the competition isn’t doing – or at least improving upon what they are doing.
Rusty’s Auto Salvage is a great example of this. They appeal to customers by offering them a service that very few in the industry do: free towing for any vehicle from anywhere. This convenience immediately appeals to customers and makes them more likely to choose Rusty’s over the competition.
Make a Short-Term Sacrifice for Long-Term Gains
Offering convenience often comes at a cost to your business. The key is to keep things in perspective. You want to make short-term sacrifices that produce long-term gains.
Nectar, an online mattress company, is a good example. They offer their customers a 365-day trial. If they don’t like the mattress after sleeping on it for a year, they can return it and get their money back. While this requires a short-term sacrifice on the company’s behalf, it ultimately leads to long-term gains in loyalty.
“Did you know that 50% of regular shoppers would cancel their purchases if their preferred payment method was not available? In addition, according to a survey by YouGov, 40% said they would feel more comfortable purchasing from an online merchant who offers multiple payment gateways,” explains Kathryn Loewen of Control.
The fact that customers want multiple options for payment is just one example of the marketplace’s affinity for choices. By offering choices on multiple fronts – including things like payments, services, quality, colors, etc. – you can make your products and services more convenient.
Be an Open Book
It’s really important that you don’t hide behind anonymity. Customers are used to having a wealth of information and knowledge on any topic they’re interested in. If they go to search for your brand online and have a hard time finding information, they’re going to become frustrated.
One of the best things you can do is to be forthcoming online. Manage your internet presence well and err on the side of revealing too much (rather than nothing at all). This is how you build trust and appeal to the desire for convenience.
Putting it All Together
For better or worse, our society is built around the idea of convenience. If you don’t make your customers’ lives more convenient, you’re going to find it difficult to build a relatable brand that attracts people to what you’re doing.
Hopefully the tips and techniques discussed in this article will help you understand just how simple and effective convenience can be in real world settings.