(Time to read this Blog article is about 2 minutes)

When I was a teenager, girls who were “easy” were popular for all the wrong reasons.  But in business, being “easy” is a very good thing.  Staples, the office supplies retailer, has created a whole marketing campaign around being “Easy” to do business with.

So, are you “easy” in all the right ways?  Here are 8 important “easy” questions to ask:

  1. First, are we easy to find, wherever our target customers might be looking for us?

 Are we easy to in person? 

  Are we easy to find on the internet?  Have we used search engine optimization to appear ‘above the fold’, on page one, on Google?  If we’re not ‘above the fold’, we’re invisible to most potential customers.

  If we’re exhibiting at a Trade Show, have we negotiated a booth location that’s easy to find?  Then, create a booth that stands out, then fit it out with something that catches the eye and starts useful conversations.

  If our business is on a long street, do we always state the name of the closest cross street and what side of the street we’re on, so folks know about where we are?  For example, Yonge Street in Toronto runs 40 miles from Lake Ontario, to Newmarket.  So, to say that we’re at 8267 Yonge Street is not all that helpful to folks who are trying to pinpoint our location.

  If we advertise in a newspaper or magazine, do we negotiate where our ad will appear so that it’s seen by the most people?  I always insisted on the top right-hand corner of Page 3 or I wouldn’t run the ad at all.
 
So, what will we do to be easier to find?  If people can’t find us, we don’t exist. 

  1. If our customers have to drive to us, is it easy and affordable to park?  Is it easy to get to us by public transportation, if that’s our target customers preferred transportation?  If not, how can we make it easier…and be amazing in the process?
  2. Is it easy to understand what we do and all the ways we can be helpful?  The quickest way to increase sales by 10% to 15% in most businesses is to make sure that our existing customers know about all the value we deliver. 
     
    So, what are 4 things we will do in the next 4 months to make it easier for our target customers to understand and remember what we do, and all the ways we can be helpful?
  1. Are we easy to communicate with? 

 –  Is our contact information on all of our emails, invoices, price lists? 

   Do we speak in a way that our customers can understand us or do we speak technical   jargon that confuses them and makes them feel stupid?

   Do we have a phone answering system that drives people nuts? 

  Do we communicate effectively, in person, on our website, in our printed material and on our contracts, invoices and packaging? 

  Is our signage clear accurate and helpful? 

  Do we return phone calls quickly? 

 Do we follow up when we say we will?  Do we advise customers promptly and honestly when something goes wrong? 

  Does the “Contact us’ page on our website have one of those awful forms that people must fill in if they want to contact us.  Get rid of that.  People hate it.   
 
Specifically, how will we improve our customer communications at every ‘touch point’?

  1. Are we easy to do business with?  Do we do anything that infuriates people?  Do we have processes that are inefficient or policies that are unreasonable and annoying?  Do we have enough staff and are they properly trained and empowered?
     
    How can we improve our policies, our processes and out staff to make it easier for customers to do business with us?  
  1. Is it easy to pay us, or do we make folks jump through hoops, or wait in long lines to give us their money?  How will we fix this?
  2. Is it easy to trust us?  Do we do the right thing?  Do we deliver our promises?  Are we deceptive or sneaky in any way?  Is our entire industry considered to be untrustworthy…and, if so, how can we differentiate ourselves by becoming the one that folks can trust?
  3. Are we easy to recommend?  Do we always perform in a way that people feel comfortable recommending us through word-of-mouth and social media?   Do we have customers or fans?  Customers give us business.  Fans help us grow our business. What extraordinary things can we do to turn customers into fans? 

There you have it; 8 questions to ask when looking for ways to be easier to do business with.  In addition to these suggestions above, listen to your front-line staff.  They know what needs fixing and they hate it when you don’t ask.  So, what will you do, starting right now, to get started?  

 

For info about booking Donald to deliver his bottom- line insights on management, marketing and profitability at an Industry Conference or Corporate Event…or to discus our Business Coaching program, contact us at donald@donaldcooper.comor by phone at 1 (416) 252-3703 in Toronto, Canada.

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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