Expert sales and marketers project a 3D vision of their customers' world to their customers. They show a world that is all about those customers, seen through their customers' eyes, depicting their ideal, sometimes aspirational, position.
Then they demonstrate how that recognised and desired world is achieved by using the product or service that's being pitched.
That's really the hardest bit: knowing the target customer well enough to convince them to buy what you're offering, in preference to anything else. And if you can do that really well, you'll get them coming back of course.
And it's the coming back, because they're satisfied (if not delighted), first time around, that's really the nirvana position, right?
If you really want to succeed by generating customer loyalty and securing repeat custom, the linked article by the First Round Review team is an 'invest the time in' read. The story of the excitedly anticipated toy car and what happened to spoil that experience for the small boy who was to become a hugely influential Amazon c-suite exec (Kintan Brahmbhatt), is striking and thought-provoking.
It's also not just a story. It's a user-friendly guide to how to avoid the mistakes that the toy car makers made and how to lever instead the learnings from that episode, just as Amazon has grown increasingly masterful at doing. The examination of the 'friction' elements that get in the way of customers, both before and after a sale is made, and that risk displacing all-important customer loyalty, is instructive.
As First Round point out, friction can manifest itself in a number of different ways, such as creating an experience where customers simply can't relate to the product or service on offer and therefore don't appreciate a need for it; or not knowing how to use it because the operation of it isn't intuitive; or needing to jump through too many hoops before you can properly enjoy its benefits - a classic set-up frustration.
We live in a plug and play society. Anything that is not instinctive and feels like hard work and/or time-consuming, particularly when there is an alternative, is likely to get little attention from most of us.
The linked article explores Kintan Brahmbhatt's well-tested techniques to identify and mitigate experience-damaging frictions. It's excellent advice.
Interestingly, he also advises that a little friction, at the right time and place, can actually create user loyalty, if properly managed. He tells you how to get this right too.
All great food for thought. Because when, as consumers, we evaluate a product or service, it's typically the whole experience that we instinctively rate when someone asks us: 'so what did you think?' What sticks first in mind is always what didn't work or frustrated or annoyed us. And that first recollection is the opportunity for someone else to entice our custom away.
In this exclusive interview, Brahmbhatt takes us through how to detect and anticipate points of friction through monitoring steps in a customer’s journey with your product. He shares the three stages of the product experience where customers are most vulnerable to experiencing friction. Brahmbhatt also walks through strategies to reduce friction, or, if it’s unavoidable, how to mask it.