Hidden Brain is one of my favorite podcasts because they discuss topics that drive human behavior. Marketing is all about understanding human behavior. In a recent episode, they discussed frictions that cause individuals to abandon the desired outcome.
For example, a professor discussed how he wanted his students to complete evaluation forms at the end of the semester. No matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to get a 95-100% response rate. (While this is an uncanny response rate for marketing campaigns, it should be achievable in this example. It’s important for the professor to get as close to 100% feedback so that he can get an accurate assessment.)
Eventually, he did achieve close to 100% feedback when he reserved time at the end of the last class for students to complete the forms. Now it’s a regular practice for him because every student who attends that last class will complete an evaluation form.
It sounds like a small friction; the time to complete an evaluation form. However, students – like everyone else – are very busy and even those with the best of intentions will forget to complete the assignment as soon as they leave the classroom. They have moved on to the next task on the list.
This got me thinking about frictions when it comes to service-based businesses. Many of us will first look at our prices and think that we need to lower them when that might not be the problem. The solution might be even simpler.
Here are a few ideas for frictions that, if removed, could have a huge impact on your sales.
3 Ways to Increase Sales by Removing Friction
Booking an appointment.
If your customers still need to call to book an appointment, you are missing out on sales. Think about the customers who are sitting at a cubicle or the person in charge of small children who cannot make a personal call during regular business hours. Implement a “text to book” system or try an online booking service like Calendly or YouCanBookMe.
Submitting a “Contact Us” form.
How many fields are required in order to submit a “contact us” form on your website? If it’s more than four (name, email, comments, CAPTCHA), then consider eliminating some of the fields. This goes for your lead magnet as well. The more information that is required for someone to enter, the less likely it is that they will complete the desired task. Experiment with reducing the number of fields and seeing if you see an increase in the number of submissions.
Scheduling maintenance appointments in advance.
If your company offers some sort of maintenance program, ask your customers to book an appointment while you are there. (My dentist does this and it’s genius! I schedule my next 6-month appointment at my current appointment. I haven’t missed a visit in years.) There’s something about getting the appointment on the calendar that makes it memorable. The customer doesn’t have to think about it; it’s already scheduled. For example, a landscaping company could schedule a spring clean-up when they are there for fall foliage removal.
You can increase sales by reducing the friction in your process. Think about it from the perspective of your customer. Consider implementing ways that make it easier for them to do business with you.
Join our Facebook Group, The Credible Brand: Online Marketing for Service-Based Businesses, for more insights on how to successfully market your business.