I was cruising Facebook not long ago, and came across this. It made me stop and think about a typical customer buying process.
A few thoughts:
- She wants to buy from a small local business? Cool!
- He called to find out their hours for her? That’s really kind!
- Their Facebook page didn’t list the hours for BOTH locations?!?
- Their website doesn’t list the hours, either?
- They didn’t even mention National Ice Cream Day in a Facebook post? THAT’S a missed opportunity.
Had this kind samaritan not picked up the phone so that he could post the answer for her on Facebook, the ice cream shop probably would have lost a sale.
Let’s look at the customer buying process here.
a. This parent remembered that it was National Ice Cream Day (yay!), despite not being reminded by this business (boo).
b. When she thought of ice cream, she thought of her friendly neighborhood ice cream shop. Yay for shopping local!
c. She visited the shop’s Facebook page. Yay! The information she needed wasn’t listed. Boo.
d. She visited the shop’s website. It wasn’t listed there, either. Double boo.
e. She crowdsourced the information she needed. Another user delivered the information.
f. Presumably, she took her family out for ice cream at the shop in question. Cha-ching!
I’d have lost interest somewhere around step D. I know that as a parent, I’m already being pulled in six different directions. I’d have spent just about as much time as I was going to spend looking for the information.
When you make it as easy and seamless as possible to buy from you, you’re reducing friction. Each click, each piece of missing information increases the friction of buying from you. The more friction there is in the customer buying process, the harder it is to buy. The harder it is to buy, the fewer sales there will be. Once you reduce that friction, there’s smooth
If I wasn’t darn sure that ice cream shop would be open when I got there, I wouldn’t pack my kids in the car and schlep them across town, only to meet up with disappointment and heartbreak when I found the door locked.
The moral of the story? Take a minute to thing about your typical customer’s buying process. Make sure your Facebook page, your website, and every social media profile has all the information a buyer will need to make a purchase from you.