This blog is the journey of Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment as we continue to encourage creativity and innovation by using the concepts of improv comedy in everyday life. Any kind of group or organization can benefit from our improv-based corporate training, focusing on team-building, hyper listening and communication skills, and thinking on your feet.

Keeping customers from buying one obstacle at a time

by Toby Lorenc

Alright, here it is: I've been frustrated lately with companies putting obstacles in front of me to keep me from buying their products.  Why are they making it so hard for me to give them my money?

Can you think of examples: companies that are company-focused instead of customer-focused?  Let's ignite our thinking a bit in the corporate world and instead of considering "what's easiest for the company?" considering "what's easiest for the customer!"

Let me give you a few examples that have frustrated me lately.

1) Buying a watch.  I see these amazing, colorful watches at some of the major department stores and even independent retailers.  Wow! What a great accessory - I'm ready to buy!....but I want to try it on, just to make sure it fits on my wrist and to look at it in the mirror.  Right? Nope, sorry.  The watch is beautifully displayed in a box and tethered to the container like a captured criminal.  Good luck removing the security bands holding it tightly to the display box, and if you do, you'll probably go down for shoplifting.  Weren't they trying to sell this watch or is it just for me to look at as a branding effort for the watch company?

2) Buying Dress shirts (guys, you know what I mean): Go to any of the major department stores and the dress shirts are neatly packed into plastic wrap, needles, tissue paper, and cardboard supports to give them the appearance of ... I'm not sure, but I can't try them on.  Some stores even go as far to put up signs, "Please do not remove shirts from packaging."  Has anyone done studies on this?  How much more likely would consumers be to purchase dress shirts if they could actually see and feel how fitted, soft, long, luxurious, etc. these products are as boasted on the packaging?

3) Employee work day: Welcome to the retail world.  It's a necessity - stores have to set up displays, do visual merchandising, and create sales and specials that attract customers so they can sell the product.  But, if I'm standing in the store looking for someone to help me and you're so busy "creating things that will attract customers" that you lose sight of what's right in front of you, there's a problem.  I'm an interested customer who chose to walk into your store, and will walk right back out after 10 minutes of you being to busy to help me.

My point is not to complain - my point is to make you think how your company is creating obstacles for your customers.  Whether you're a non-profit collecting donations online, or a brick-and-mortar retailer, consider your customers perspective. Forget what you've been told about "how to do things." Stop asking "What is the easiest way to do it" and start asking "What makes it easiest for our customer" and ultimately results in revenue and value to your clients.

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