To earn and keep a customer, whatever we offer has to be worth it to them. “It” is a manifested outcome at a reasonable cost, and cost is more than dollars and cents. It’s the total time, effort, information, & money necessary to acquire their outcome.
Time, effort, and information are part of their experience. They are the hassle factor part of what the customer has to pay. Lessening the hassle factor has the same effect as lowering the price. It increases sales.
Isolating the hassle factor within the customer experience can be done using three questions:
- How easy is it for the customer to get what they want?
- How does interacting with the business make the customer feel?
- What story is the business giving the customer to tell?
With the above questions in mind, staple yourself to an order and look for opportunities to make it easier for the customer to get their desired outcome (i.e., enjoyable meal, healthy smile, improved appearance, etc.) Find a few trusted friends and send them through the process too. Ask them to rate the effort on a scale of 0-5. Ask them how it felt, and have them recount their experience to someone else.
Visualize and fashion the outcome your customer wants. Be mindful of the adage “No one wants a drill. What they want is a hole.” Whatever “hole” you provide, make attaining it simpler and easier. Shrink wait times, prevent rework, and eliminate steps. Make it consistently simple and easy.
Abolishing the hassle factor of time, effort, & information fosters a better customer experience. It amplifies value—making great work feel extraordinary, and totally worth it!
As a bonus, after you’ve abolished the hassle factor, look for opportunities to make the customer feel good. How your customer feels when they interact with your business is a huge part of what keeps them coming back. Eliminate hassles, then cultivate joy and gratitude. It’s the secret sauce.