My better half is launching a new skin health business. As part of the process, she ordered labels from an online vendor and the experience was horrendous. Though she’d ordered with what she felt was plenty of time, the company had several hidden and unexplained steps that ruined her experience. They didn’t deliver.
This all could have been avoided if the company laid out and explained a much better workflow for their prospective buyers. No matter your business, almost every customer needs more hand holding than what they’re getting right now.
Make Everything More Explicit and Clear
When you buy coffee from your favorite place, you know how to order it. But you know that from experience, not because it’s laid out in any useful way. But many new restaurants are smarter about this. They set up their menus to clearly explain the concept.
Look at Chipotle: you pick the way you want the food packaged (burrito, salad, tacos, etc.), what kind of protein you want (beef, pork, chicken, etc.), then your veggies, your salsa, and any extras. It goes left to right. There’s nothing fancy. (Yes, I know guac is extra.)
Business at every turn can and should be simple and explicit. When I work with marketing clients, I explain up front what the process looks like, what each session will look like, what I do and don’t do for their company, how they pay, what to do when there’s a problem, how to terminate the contract, and more. It’s explicit. It makes every single part of the process known and understood.
What Point Do You Want Them to Take Away?
My friend Tamsen Webster is a master at helping professional speakers and organizations improve how they talk about themselves and get their ideas across. In one of my earliest training sessions with her, she told the story of a group of investors pitching their company as a great place for startups to seek funding.
The second slide showed the team (most of them between ages 40-75). The team’s idea was that people would see the slide and think, “Wow, now that’s a lot of experience!” Instead, the slide worried young startup entrepreneurs who thought that the team wouldn’t “get” their new ideas.
Tamsen said this: Be explicit in the points you want people to take away from the information you share.
If you intend for your customer to think that your website offers easy step-by-step ordering, then spell that out. The risk if you don’t is that they’ll mistake simple for unsophisticated, or clean with “lacking substance.” And so on.
Be There Every Step of the Way
People have an amazing capacity for feeling out-of-sorts and confused. Think of any time you spend in an airport. You’re perpetually in a state of uncertainty. Is this the right gate? Do I have the right documents? Am I going to have everything I need? Where do I go again?
It’s so important and easy and helpful to your customers to simply guide along the way. Hold their hands. They’ll appreciate it so very much.
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advisesleadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.
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