Are your products and services easy to understand and buy?

Accounting Firm CoachingIn the space of a week I’ve had two very different experiences which have made me think about how important it is for business to make it easy to actually do business with them. I have a long held belief that you can remove considerable friction from the marketing and sales process if your products and services are easy to understand and easy to buy. Are you easy to do business with?

My first (not so positive) experience was in purchasing a holiday. Kate and I are regular global travellers and we build our business schedule around having time to do some big trips. Kate has had on her bucket list a cruise on the Inside Passage of Alaska and we decided 2019 would be the year to make this a reality.

Like most travellers we surfed the web and searched on various phrases until we found what we thought we were looking for. The only trouble was that when we looked at the information provided on the trip of interest it was not at all clear what the itinerary is and what is included and not included in the price.

We very nearly did not go further with a booking because it just seemed like the cruise company (Holland America who are one of the biggest providers of cruises near Alaska) was trying to make it hard to understand what we might be buying. Even when I rang the cruise company and spoke to a real person it still seemed like hard work to get what I wanted.

In the end I established that meals for the land component were not included in the advertised price. Nor were the compulsory daily gratuities for the cruise or drinks on the cruise or internet on the cruise. It would have been really easy for Holland America to spell these things out very clearly and that they did not nearly caused me to not buy.

Contrast this experience with my second. Kate and I were in South Australia to watch some of the Tour Down Under Cycling and catch up with friends. We stayed one night in Adelaide and went to a nearby café for both dinner and breakfast. When we walked in the door the sign below was in front of us. It makes it very clear what we need to do as customers. Fantastic!

Now I know these are two very different situations but what a difference! Holland America made it hard to understand and buy their product but Bocelli the café made it very easy. I’m sure you will think of a few more examples of businesses that seem to make it hard to understand what they offer. Mobile phone plans and private health cover come immediately to mind for me.

The question I have for you is this. Are you behaving like the cruise company or the café? Do you make it really easy for your clients and potential clients to understand your products and services and make it easy for them to buy?

Look at your website and any marketing collateral you have and consider it through the eyes of the client or potential client. Then make some changes to reduce the friction and provide greater clarity. I’m convinced you will like the results.