You’re standing at a railway ticket machine in a strange, foreign country. The train is due in a few minutes and you need to figure out which buttons to press on the machine to buy a ticket. Thankfully the ticket machine does have some English instructions… but they’re in that stilted English from translation machines rather than from a native English speaker. The most intimidating sign of all is the one threatening severe penalties for traveling without a ticket, or with the wrong kind of ticket. Eek!
The machine makes it very difficult to buy. Oh my, there are so many ticket options on the machine!
Which to choose?
You figure out which may be the most appropriate and go onto the next screen. Only to be confronted with other options about which route you want to take to get to your destination. Um, you don’t know the geography of the country, so you have no idea which route you should select!
And there’s no-one around to help you. There are no other passengers, and the former ticket office looks like it hasn’t been used for many years.
This is a pretty daunting consumer experience. And although it’s pretty extreme, there are many companies in the real world that are equally daunting and unhelpful to buy from. How does that make you feel as a customer? Would you want to give repeat business to such a company, if you had a choice? Would you recommend such a business to your friends? Probably not.
Here are 4 simple tips on how to give your customers a pleasant and easy buying experience.
#1 Make it easy to buy.
This is one of the golden rules of marketing – but it’s one of those rules that’s often forgotten about, because red tape starts taking over. The key is to forget about rules, and put yourself in your customers’ shoes instead.
How can you simplify or streamline the process? Is there a lot of to-ing and fro-ing? Could you cut some of that out by giving more information upfront?
#2 Give information upfront.
Telling your prospects and clients important stuff upfront not only helps them make a more informed buying decision, but it also manages their expectations. Which could save you a whole load of hassle further down the track.
A good way to do this is to via an FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page on your website. This is a good idea whether you offer a product or a service or if you’re an e-commerce business, having a “Customer Service” page where you detail all the nitty-gritty shipping options, return process, and so on.
#3 Reassure post-purchase.
Great, so your prospect has invested in your product or service!
It can be a good ploy to reassure them what a great decision they’ve made, for example by reminding them of one of the key benefits that they’ll enjoy as a result of their purchase. The key is to do this sincerely.
#4 Be contactable.
Make yourself accessible to your clients and prospects, so they can get in touch if they get stuck or have any questions -Don’t be like that train station ticket machine!
If you make the buying process pleasant and enjoyable, there’s a good chance your client will enjoy your product or service more. There will probably be fewer complaints and more word of mouth referrals… a win-win all round.