Have you ever waited in a restaurant for so long even when there are not many customers?
Have you ever had to wait for an App to load, and it takes almost forever?
Have you ever had to leave a website just because it’s too hard to navigate?
If yes, then you have faced friction in your journey.
As easy as it sounds, it’s merely the opposite. Customer friction is a problem that haunts every business and industry each day.
Customer friction can be the very reason for the demise of any business. No matter how big or small it is.
- 1 Defining Customer Friction
- 2 Examples of Customer Friction in a customer journey
- 3 Frictionless Customer journey is the right journey
- 4 How to identify Customer Friction
- 5 Get Feedback from Customers
- 6 Look closely to your Analytics
- 7 Think from the Customer’s Perspective
- 8 Ways to Reduce Customer Friction
- 9 Happy Employees Satisfied Customers
- 10 Simplicity is the Best Policy
- 11 Upfront Service and information to Customers
- 12 Let’s Sum it Up
Defining Customer Friction
Customer friction is every hurdle or obstacle that stops customers from doing business with any company.
Customer friction is anything that causes customers to stop moving through or leave your company at any step of the conversion funnel. Reducing Customer friction is essential for every business today. Whether it’s a B2b or B2C business. If you are selling a product or providing a service reducing customer friction is a necessity. It ensures the longevity of your business, high conversion rates, and less customer churn rate.
The reasons behind Customer friction vary from business to business. The best way to reduce the friction is to ask the ones who are facing it – the customers. Customer feedback can help you in understanding what is it that makes the user journey hard. There are many Customer Satisfaction Survey Apps and Customer feedback systems. The big question is determining what is causing the friction and how to remove or reduce it.
Examples of Customer Friction in a customer journey
The factors behind customer friction are extensive. Numerous elements contribute to increasing friction for customers. Some of the most common examples of customer friction are:
- Low-quality website
- Slow loading speed
- High response time from sales and service
- Clumsy system
- Slow delivery and return
- Bad policies
- Slow response rate
- Non-professional staff
This is just the outline of some of the common issues that customers face. The issue is much complicated and serious. Therefore it is of utmost importance that it is resolved as soon as possible. Listening to your customers is the best way to do that.
So now we will discuss some of the reasons that cause customer friction and how customer feedback assists in eliminating them.
Frictionless Customer journey is the right journey
To make you realize the importance of a frictionless journey consider this: “84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services”
Today the maximum percentage of business is being done by millennials. And if we know anything about them, is that they don’t like waiting or overcoming any obstacles. They demand simplicity, efficiency, trust, and superior services. They are the biggest chunk of today’s market and to get them to convert is not a small feat. They use technology to make everything easy and faster. If you fail to deliver that, you are destined to fail. They won’t have any second thoughts about leaving your business.
Although millennials are indeed the driving force in this mechanism, you can’t ignore other generations. If you do so, you are missing so much. Baby boomers and Gen X are equally if not more important for your business. And Gen Z is entirely raised in the world of the internet. If anything they are the true future of your business. And trust us when we say this, no one, not a single person of any generation prefers having hurdles or obstacles in their path. This makes it much more important for you to deal with any friction present in the customer journey map.
How to identify Customer Friction
Before we analyze how to reduce customer friction, first we have to understand how to identify the root cause of customer friction.
Get Feedback from Customers
As we have many times in this article, the best way to identify the reasons behind friction is to ask the customers. It is the easiest, reliable, and efficient method. You may think that you are running everything smoothly. The only thing that matters is what the customers think. And guess what if customers think there is friction, there is. So next time before you make your mind, consider listening to your customers. Your customers can give you valuable insight into matters that you may have neglected so far. Customer feedback can make it easy to determine the faulty lines and also makes it easy to address the issues. Every successful business asks customers for their feedback. Companies like McDonald’s, Vogue, and every other big-name rely on customer feedback. There are several options and categories you can use in feedback forms. This depends on your end goals. The important part is to get feedback from customers and use it wisely.
Look closely to your Analytics
Stats don’t lie. The statement is true in every sense. Therefore it is important that alongside customer feedback you analyze your vital stats. Google Analytics can help you greatly in this regard. It provides stats like bounce rate, CTR, impressions, and exit rate. All these stats are crucial for any business. By simply analyzing the exit rate you can determine how much friction your customers are facing. This way you can determine what is attracts the customers and what makes their journey hard. Through close analysis, you can pinpoint the faulty areas and work to make them better.
Think from the Customer’s Perspective
As much as we stress this, it is a fact that customers are the most important link in this. As a business owner, you always put your needs and preferences first. When what you should be doing is putting your customers first. Whenever making a decision or launching a new product or service, think like a customer. Take A/B testing into account. Study how and what the customers will feel about this. How will they react to this? This will increase your chances to engage new and more customers. So next time you introduce something new, consider getting into your customers’ shoes. It will make matters quite easy.
Ways to Reduce Customer Friction
How hard it may be, it’s not impossible. It’s an ongoing process. You have to keep making amends and improvements to meet the needs of your customers. You have to evolve with time. Now let’s discuss how to reduce or eventually eliminate this friction.
Happy Employees Satisfied Customers
Even to this day, human interaction remains the foremost important way to engage customers. The employees of your company can easily construct or destruct your image. They are the ones who represent everything you stand for. They are the true reflection of your identity, morals, and what your business represents. Therefore it is imperative to keep your employees happy. Your employees interact with your customers. They serve them, make them feel at home, and listen to their demands and needs. When your employees are satisfied by working with you, they will do their best to make your customers happy. This creates a system where employees work hard to boost your business. It’s a relationship based on trust, respect, and mutual benefit.
Simplicity is the Best Policy
It is always better to junk the jargon. Don’t overcomplicate things. The simpler the better. When a customer visits your website, they are looking for answers. The end goal is always conversion. Will they convert or not, depends on how simple the whole process is for them. If they are not facing any unnecessary obstacles, they will convert. But if they have to go through some complex forms and pages, chances are that they will just leave your website. Even when on the checkout page, keep the process simple. Using complicated jargon and language can create a really bad user experience. Talk to them in simple words, engage them with basic conversation language, and layman terms. This will make them feel personal and trustworthy. This way you can remove the language barriers from your business. When you use the language that your customers understand it becomes much easier to convey your message and convert them.
Upfront Service and information to Customers
Nothing sets a customer angrier than not getting answers or services upfront. When a customer wants to buy something from you but has some questions about the product or service. It’s annoying when you don’t have enough information. Most customers abandon doing business with someone if they don’t get the required information. 53% of customers do tend to give up online purchases if they don’t get immediate answers to their questions. This is where your customer service department comes in. The best way is to display all the relevant information on the website. We understand that it is sometimes hard to display all the information on your website. And every customer has different questions and requirements. So to provide the best user experience, you can provide upfront communication for your customers. You can deploy live web chat for your customers. This way if they have any queries you can answer them right away and you can guide them for the whole process. This helps in reducing the friction from the whole process and improves customer experience.
Let’s Sum it Up
The success of your business is in your hands. It depends on how to tackle certain problems and how you react to them. The proper way to deal is to act proactively. Keep looking for ways to reduce friction even before it is identified by customers. Use customer satisfaction survey Apps and feedback systems to get feedback from customers. Use this feedback to identify the problems and resolve them.
It is an ongoing process. There is always room for improvement. You should keep taking measures necessary for reducing customer friction. Hope this helped you understanding customer friction and how to reduce it.
Name: Abdullah Sadiq
Description: Abdullah Sadiq is a Digital Marketer enthusiast at Smiley.pk having years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. He is a Social Media geek, a complete foodie, and enjoys trying varied cuisine. A perfect day for him consists of reading his favorite novels with a hot cup of coffee.