I went to Best Buy last weekend with the sole purpose of purchasing a new TV. There wasn’t a Best Buy employee in sight to help me, but coincidentally, there were plenty of DIRECTTV guys ready to swoop in and cross-sell. Of course, I get bamboozled into upgrading my antiquated analog cable to DIRECTTV. Although it was a good deal, I felt really pressured. Knowing I had the chance to cancel, I decided to see if Cox Communications (my current Internet and cable provider) had a better deal.
I searched around their Web site, but it was really difficult to figure out upgrade costs, so I called their customer service department. A recording said that their reps were busy, and to call back later, and hung up. They didn’t even give me the option to hold! Who has the time to call back? I needed the information I was looking for at that moment, I didn’t get it, so I canceled my Cox cable service. If Cox would have simplified access to the information I needed, I’d probably still be their customer.
On a similar note, I decided to brave all 34,200 square feet of IKEA® last weekend to buy a bookshelf. IKEA products are great, but those Swedes are brilliant retailers. They literally force you to start your in-store journey on the second floor where you weave through endless displays of discounted, Swedish furniture, unruly children, hand-holding couples, and giant carts. Then you’re coerced downstairs where you navigate through a similar maze. Practically an eternity later, you pour out into a giant warehouse where you grab your wonderfully discounted goods on your own and proceed to the giant lines at checkout.The whole experience is nothing short of maddening, and every time I leave I swear I’ll never go back.
Fast forward three hours after the bookshelf is put together and functional, and I want to go back for another because I love it so much. I immediately start to have a panic attack. It’s the same as my Cox conundrum: Why does IKEA make it so difficult to get access to what I want, when I can get a bookshelf just about anywhere? But, I want what I want when I want it, (which I’m sure they’re banking on), so I stealthily go back on a random weeknight before they close thinking I’ll avoid the crowds.
GIANT surprise—the parking lot was full. An epiphany in the parking lot gave me a brilliant idea. I ran inside, brazenly zigged left instead of being forced up the escalator to the second floor, ran through the check outs, which I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to do, entered the warehouse the wrong way, grabbed my bookshelf, whipped through the check outs, pulled my car up, and a nice IKEA gentleman helped me load it into my car. I was in and out in 15 minutes, which normally would have taken me an hour plus emotional damages.
Because of these experiences, my business resolution as a marketer for 2010 is to simplify messaging about Sage SalesLogix and ensure it’s easy to get access to product information. How easy is it for your customers to access or find information about your products and services? Any room to simplify?
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. ~Albert Einstein