Easy. Convenient. Simple words, but when put to use as a business strategy, more powerful than you could imagine. If you can find a way to make doing business more convenient for customers, you can disrupt your competition – and maybe even an entire industry! If you want to be truly successful, you have to do more than meet your customers’ needs, even more than offer good customer service. You have to be convenient.
Convenient means being easy to do business with.
It means that your customer does not experience friction – before, during or after the sale. Starting with the assumption that you provide a good product or service, and deliver it with good customer service, how can you take it to the next level by adding convenience?
There are several principles that lay the foundation for being more convenient and I describe them in detail in my new book, The Convenience Revolution (more about that later). But for right now, let me give you some examples of companies that are taking advantage of convenience as a winning business strategy.
The most basic, obvious example would be a convenience store – everyone knows that they will pay a little more for products there, yet the ease of purchase is a powerful draw. Along the same lines, how about the minibar in your hotel room? Guests who take advantage of the minibar are paying a large markup, even compared to convenience store prices. The can of Coca-Cola that costs $5 in your room could be had for less than half that price at a vending machine just a short walk down the hall. But in spite of that, hotels are still restocking their minibars every day.
In my opinion, the most convenient company on the planet is Amazon.com. Amazon started as an online bookseller, and its model of large selection, low prices and convenience disrupted the entire book industry. Eventually, it expanded beyond just selling books, and it disrupted the entire retail industry. Everything from one-click buying to two-day delivery to easy returns and so much more makes Amazon the most convenient and frictionless company to buy from. The ease of doing business that Amazon offers has made it the first-stop shopping place for millions all over the world.
Uber is another great example. Its business model disrupted the entire taxi industry. Using Uber is easy – open the app and type in your destination. The driver automatically knows where to pick you up, and the app shows you how far away the driver is and how much your trip will cost. When you reach your destination, you don’t have to hand the driver any money – you just get out of the car and Uber charges your credit card. It’s so easy, it’s almost like magic. It’s no wonder Uber changed the whole industry.
Maybe you aren’t out to disrupt an entire industry, but from these examples, you can see the overwhelming advantage that convenience can offer. You can use the concept to disrupt your direct competitors. I had been doing business with a certain car dealership for almost 24 years and had no plans to change. The people there were friendly and, more importantly, they were located conveniently close to my office, so that if I had to drop my car off for service, I could walk to work if no loaners were available.
Up the convenience game.
One day I happened to be driving past a competing dealership and I saw a beautiful new car on the showroom floor. I stopped to look at it, but I was upfront with the salesperson and told him that I would probably buy from my regular dealership because it was so conveniently close to my work and home. But I wasn’t expecting what happened next – he upped the convenience game.
He asked me to look around for a waiting room. I didn’t see one, and there was a reason why. He told me that any time my car needed any kind of service he would have a new car delivered to my home for me to drive until my car was ready. He said, “The next time you come back to this dealership won’t be for an oil change. It will be to buy your next car.” Wow. Talk about convenience. And I’ve been a loyal customer ever since.
Customer experience on the next level.
Convenience is your next level of amazing customer service. In my newest book, The Convenience Revolution, I will show you six specific ways your business can be more convenient and disrupt your competition, if not your entire industry. I share dozens of case studies and examples to inspire you to raise your convenience level.
The book officially comes out on October 2, but I have exciting news. You can buy it today and have instant access to the e-book and all its game-changing content right now. And, when the book officially releases in October, you will receive the hardback version.
Simply go to www.BeConvenient.com and get started on your journey to being more convenient – the next-level way to always be amazing!
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken