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Make It Easy to Buy, Easy to Use

Make It Easy to Buy, Easy to Use

Sharlyn Lauby | HR Bartender

March 01, 2010

In one of my previous lives, the company I worked for developed a customer service program focused on the idea that the customer experience should be easy.  The mantra was to make things easy to buy and easy to use.  It’s a catchy phrase I’ve never forgotten.  And I try to remember it today when looking at my business.

Here are some examples:

Look at interactions on social media.  I want HR Bartender to be easy to use.  That’s why I don’t have passwords and CAPTCHAs for comments.  I think it only makes commenting more difficult.  Do I get spam?  Sure.  And, I check the spam filter regularly and clean it out.  Occasionally I find a legit comment in there … I approve it and it gets posted.  It’s about making the commenting experience easy for others.  Not easy on me.

Another example is subscriptions.  I hope you like HR Bartender and want to subscribe.  That’s why the subscription button is at the top, so it’s easy to find.  I just visited a really cool blog and I couldn’t find the subscribe button.  Anywhere.  There was a subscribe button for Twitter and a subscribe button for job postings (it was a recruiting blog.) But nowhere could I find a way to subscribe to the blog.

Speaking of  Twitter, there are people who follow me – which is great.  When I follow them back, I get an automated response telling me I need to verify my identity.  Now first of all, this person wasn’t concerned about my identity when they started following me in the first place.  But now they want me to confirm I’m a person before I can see their tweets.  Makes absolutely no sense to me.

And what about interactions in real life?  This is a true story.  I know a person who was taking over a board position from me. She told the board the best way to reach her was email.  Then she provided two email addresses that people needed to send everything to in case one got lost.  She then said if you couldn’t reach her via email it was OK to call and provided two phone numbers.  Lastly, she added that you could send her mail but that was the slowest way to reach her.

I took her message as “don’t try to contact me.”  It was all about making other people chase her down.  The really funny sad part of the story is when you actually did all of the stuff above…she didn’t bother to answer you for weeks, sometimes months.

Now, let’s take these examples to our organizations.

Leaders need to send the message that they are accessible and approachable.  They’re willing to listen to others and when there’s a good idea on the table, they will support it.  If people have to jump through hoops to interact with you, well they just won’t.  This is how disengagement begins.

Policies and procedures should be examined.  Are they made to be convenient for employees or are they designed to make it easier for the customer to buy your product or service?  There’s way too much competition in the marketplace to play hard to get.  Let your customers know how much you appreciate their time by making it easy to buy and easy to use your products.

Same goes for the volunteer experience.  It doesn’t surprise me when I hear that volunteerism is on the decline.  What I can’t believe is all the things associations and clubs put their volunteers through.  If organizations want people to give their time, they have to make the process for getting involved easier.

The more we open ourselves and our organizations to simplifying the process, the easier things become.  And the more progress gets made.

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