by Rachel Robb
I’ve just been swimming. I love swimming. I particularly like the glowing feeling it leaves me with for the rest of the day and the satisfaction that I’ve managed to crowbar some exercise into my busy schedule. But there are a couple of things I tend NOT to like about public swimming pools, and they are:
The lockers – Cramming all my clothes into one, only to discover that it won’t lock. Then having to transfer what seems like all my worldly goods into another locker – and dropping a shoe on my bare foot in the process.
The showers – Risking catching pneumonia while waiting an eternity for a shower to become available. Then spending another eternity trying to rinse the shampoo from my hair under a slow drizzle. Oh for a power shower!
Now niggles about public leisure facilities are all very well, but I would hate to think that my customers had niggles about my business. And I’m sure you feel the same way about your business too.
There’s nothing more off-putting for a customer than to feel they can never get hold of you by phone or to be confused about what exactly it is your company offers. As for complicated ordering systems and difficult-to-navigate websites, those can really get a customer hot under the collar! People don’t have the time to waste working it out for themselves. Consequently they will vote with their feet and purchase from your competitor instead.
Resolving some of these issues might be as simple as employing a telephone answering service or reviewing your product/service descriptions in your promotional materials. Other issues might require more of your time, money and effort – giving your website an overhaul or streamlining your ordering system, for example.
But removing these niggles will make it easier for your customers in their dealings with you. And they will therefore be more likely to:
a) buy from you,
b) buy from you again,
c) recommend you to a friend.
‘Keep things simple, stupid’ (KISS) is a marketing principle that applies here. Typically, the simpler you keep things (your systems, explanations etc.), the easier it will be for your customer to find you, contact you and buy from you.
If you are not sure what the ‘customer experience’ is for your business, ask your customers for some feedback. Giving reviews has become second-nature to most of us, and people are usually more than happy to give you their opinion. You could also ask an independent contact (not your mum!) to do a review of how user-friendly your website is (such as finding their way around and identifying any broken links) and to assess how easy it is to contact you, place an order and to find information about your business, product or service etc.
Now where’s the phone number for the leisure centre? About these power showers…