Friction is when you create work or obstacles intentionally or inadvertently with your audience or buyers. It is a common term that helps marketers and business owners think about their customer experience, especially since many sellers think about themselves first. It’s pretty human to err with such self-focus that you miss the customer.
However, because your competition (everyone) is continually raising the bar with better strategies and process to serve the customer, lagging behind in systems can hurt you badly. Month over month, the problem can exacerbate.
Today, I had a person call me and then self-schedule an appointment on my calendar online. The entire experience took about ten minutes. 80% of that time was spent on my systems. The other 20% was with me. I call it a breadcrumb trail. They follow a specific and laid out process that has been thought through and set for them. The goal was to:
- make connection easy
- deliver value first
- build trust
- get a meeting
I thought about what someone looking for business consulting or speaking would be looking for and how they would engage. I tested this over months and continually test today. There’s always refinement.
The result is that there is a well-defined and easy way to do business together. Any friction point I could find, I sought to remove. If it was harder for the prospective client or current clients, I looked long and hard to see if I could do without. The simpler the better.
In my past life as an engineer, I designed systems and enjoyed the benefit of watching things come together and work. It’s not much different today. The systems happen to be business systems that connect with people. It is a labor of continual optimization.
Think about your own processes. How much friction do the customer touch points have? Are you able to look at it from the customer’s experience rather than your own? Feel free to comment below.