Make It Easy for Customers to do Business With You

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We’re all lazy! We don’t have the time and want everything to be as easy as possible. Don’t make it tough for us already! We don’t like to go an extra mile (Unless it’s really worth it or you paid us).  If it’s possible, we don’t want to lift a finger at all! It may or may not be true, but these are just some things that I have noticed online while browsing and reading blogs. I noticed that until today, some businesses still make it so tough for customers to reach them, whether it’s on social media or just to get in touch with them.

Social Media

Mark mentioned about businesses asking their customers to follow them on Facebook and Twitter but failed to give them a username or address. I have encountered similar cases before in Malaysia. I wished I had taken a photo of it but it didn’t occur to me at that time. I saw an advertisement “somewhere” of a business promoting their Facebook page and the URL they gave was something like this.

http://facebook.com/pages/nameofbusiness/161673170522056.

Yes! How can anyone possibly remember that? They didn’t provide a username and gave the default address instead. I didn’t take a photo of it because I didn’t have a good camera back then, unlike now, since I have an iPhone *cough cough for blackberry users*. I still see businesses that don’t have a URL until today, although some has accumulated more than 1000 Facebook likes/fans.   If you don’t have a URL, you can apply for it on Facebook. Do note that you can’t change it once you’ve applied.

Can you imagine typing that URL on your browser? Wait…. can you even recall what it was? Qatar Airways made it tough for people to follow them on twitter, as customers had to “request to follow” first, which they will then manually approve later on. Not many people are willing to go through so much trouble just to “like” your business or “follow” you, unless they are diehard fans of your business or unless your business is just like Apple.

Make it easy for customers to find you

Example:

Here is one by Four Seasons Hotel (don’t you just love them?).  They have a clear URL of their social media presence on their martini menu. Hopefully people won’t get too drunk and forget about it. LoL. @ThomasMarzano said

“It’s a great idea because people could order their drinks and while waiting they could tweet about it. “

Photo credits @bethebutterfly

Customer Service

The same goes with customer services. Make it easy for customers to reach you. We don’t want to search the entire web to FINALLY find your email or customer support form.

Customer service fails #1

I remember @unmarketing mentioning this in his video.  Let me see if I remember the story correctly. As I recall, he wanted to buy a pair of sunglasses because he had a REALLY BIG HEAD, however he wanted to ask if they could ship it to Canada.

This is what he did

  1. Went on Twitter to ask – they were on Twitter, but they didn’t update their pages in a million years (tech age)
  2. Emailed them – the email support said it needed to reach a certain number of characters before it could be submitted
  3. Called them – The number wasn’t active anymore
  4. Emailed them again – this time Scott added some extra characters like *I love my cat…* I made that up but he really did add something funny into it if you know Scott.

Finally the company responded to Scott’s email, and their respond was….. “NO”.

Customer service Fails #2

Some websites today make it so hard for customers to reach them. I had one experience with a website I wanted to contact and it didn’t have a contact form or email. All it had was a FAQ page, which basically didn’t help me at all.

@Jimconnolly recently wrote his HTC customer service experience, where he had problems and the customer service didn’t help him, so he emailed them. HTC did respond, however Jim couldn’t respond to it. He had to leave his email, visit a URL, enter a long series of numbers, enter his email address and then type his message.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? At the end of the blog post, he didn’t recommend the product! This is what Jim posted

“I no longer recommend the brand, because I don’t want people to experience the same customer service frustrations that I encountered.”

OOPS! See what I said about making it easier for your customers?

How it should be done!

Case studies

Thought of including a case study on how brands or businesses today are making it easier for customers to reach them.  Since I already showed one on Four Season at the top, I thought I should include one more.

Samsung

Samsung showed other brands how they can integrate “social” into their website. They have certainly made it easy for consumers to reach them with on their site.  @SamsungEsteban was the brain behind it.

Samsung did all the hard work for their customers. They didn’t want customers to do any work at all if possible. They even included the hashtag there, so that Samsung could find tweets easily (since not all customers know what is a hashtag). Customers can pick who they want to send the tweet to and it will automatically be included in the tweet. This alone helped Samsung to increase their engagement by 1000% according to TNW. ONE THOUSAND PERCENT.

What about you? What experience do you have to share with us here?

photo credits: Oskay

 

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  • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

    That Four Seasons menu thing is a fail in my book. Im not a QR codes advocate (because I think companies use them in stupid ways) but that was a perfect opportunity to use a QR code.

    I am NEVER going to like Four Seasons on Facebook nor follow them on Twitter. BUT! I might pull out my phone to test this QR thingy Ive been hearing so much about.

    I am most certainly not going to A) Remember their URL and B) Bother to type it in.

    Just my 2 cents…btw Aaron…as you know, Ive been a long time reader and your writing was always good but I have noticed a significant improvement in the last few months. Great work my friend :-)

  • http://twitter.com/octoberclouds octoberclouds

    This is virtually the same case with many Nigerian companies. Most often join the bandwagon of any kind of media without thinking through how it would benefit their business. Many do not pay attention to customer service, for them customer service is when they see the customer face-to-face. Any other sort of interaction they cannot be bothered about it.

    Thanks for the article, ‘one’ more lesson for companies on customer service and social media.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Hi Dino,

    Thanks for the comment, the photo of the menu was taken last year in May if I am not mistaken. It was before QR codes hit off i guess. I still think Four Seasons is doing an amazing job with it though telling people about their social media presence seeing that people are already there. Moreover they don’t need to follow to tweet where they are by adding the social media URL.

    Thanks for being a long time reader as well as a contributor. Always good to have you on my blog. Thanks! I have an editor now. It helps me to get content out faster because he edits my grammar lol! Since I tend to make them every here and there.

    Thanks mate.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Thanks! I think customer service is so much more important online. Looks like companies in Nigeria is making this mistake.

    I don’t like to call and wait on the line. I prefer to send them a tweet or email because I don’t have to do something “extra”. Guess people should take a look at how they are helping their customers and not make the same mistake like HTC.

    Could be a great idea for future post. Thanks for the idea.

  • Pingback: Make it easy for customers to do business with you – Aaron Lee (lessons for Nigerian companies on the web) « Cloudtalks

  • http://twitter.com/MarianneWorley Marianne Worley

    I’ve seen many companies hide from their customers by making it difficult to contact them. They only want to hear from someone who wants to make a purchase. They don’t want to answer questions or deal with customer service. When I’m considering doing business with a company and I can’t even find their address and phone number on their website, let alone their social media connections…I’m out of there!

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    I agree with your point Marianne, it seems they only care about people who have made purchase? People like me always have a question to ask. lol! if I can’t reach them I might not make another purchase after. Just like you Marianne. Outta here. :)

  • http://twitter.com/xmediaoutlet Xpress Media Outlet

    hi

  • http://twitter.com/xmediaoutlet Xpress Media Outlet

    previous comment was not working. As talked about previously, I can imagine some companies would want to create an air of exclusivity to their brand/product. High end brands or brands which cater to only the ‘elite’ of a certain market would maybe want to have a VIP type approach to whom they associate with online and protect their online presence with a guarded approach. Thoughts anyone?

  • http://www.huddleproductions.com/ Chris Yates

    Esteban from Samsung was great. We did this video interview with him at SXSW.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tnNnXSSqRs

  • http://twitter.com/jwongjk Jan Wong

    I read that first part about companies making it difficult for customers to find them on Twitter and found it amazingly true. Like you, I’ve seen a number of them in Malaysia but have always missed the opportunity to snap a picture of it.
    As strange as it seems, some companies do not notice the difference of the URL when compared to other companies. Some thinks that it is a ‘paid’ feature while the others are just ignorant, “I’m on FB so they’ll find me easily”.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Thanks for sharing Chris, I enjoyed the interview ;)

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Hi Jan,

    Glad I wasn’t the only one in Malaysia seeing things, we should snap photos one day. I guess all this opens the eyes of what we’re doing wrong and could be good to educate people. I guess more of them jump onto the bandwagon thinking everyone would buy from them if they were on facebook. :)

    Cheers and thanks for the comment mate.

    Aaron

  • http://www.facebook.com/thewallofchina Anthony Lee

    just want to add for those who want to set username for their facebook key in this URL.
    http://www.facebook.com/username . keep in mind that for Facebook pages u should have at least 50 members though.

  • http://www.ecommerce-web-developers.com Ecommerce Website Developers

    Aaron, off course we need to make our business easy to reach out our customers.. I agree with your point that soem businesses asking their customers to follow them on Facebook and Twitter but failed to give them a username or address. You have provided here great tips to make our business easy to reach out our customers. Thanks for sharing the information with us.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Thanks for sharing the URL and the tip Anthony,
    I have forgotten about to include the URL and will edit this post after.

    Have a great day.

  • http://www.socialnerdia.com Esteban Contreras

    Thank you for including our website as a case study Aaron. If anyone wants to check out what we’re doing, please go to http://www.samsung.com/us — We’re only getting started :)

  • http://www.socialnerdia.com Esteban Contreras

    Thanks Chris! It was great to finally meet you at SXSW.

  • http://www.socialnerdia.com Esteban Contreras

    Thank you for including our website as a case study Aaron. If anyone wants to check out what we’re doing, please go to http://www.samsung.com/us — We’re only getting started :)

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Thanks for dropping by Esteban, lemme include the link on the blog :)

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Thanks for dropping by Esteban, lemme include the link on the blog :)

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