Simplify the Life of Customers for Business Success

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs

One of the premises of top class customer service is to simplify the life of customers. The companies that do this the best, are more likely to gain business success – faster and long-term. Given the rise in competition, companies now know that customer loyalty is a rare quality as customers are more likely to buy from a company / brand that offers the ‘best and most lucrative’ deals. As a response to this, companies have now accelerated and focused their messages to being more informative and those that encourage interactions with these ‘drifting’ and short attention span customers. However, given that customers are faced repeatedly with a barrage of information from different quarters and the many market players, they are very easily confused and overwhelmed. The affect then, of information, becomes the opposite – customers begin to ‘run away’ from a company’s aggressive and relentless attempts to attract them.

When a company focuses on itself, the messages it sends out would not have the desired effect on the target audience, especially if they are unable to simplify the life of customers. If customers are unable to understand the messages, they are unlikely to buy. For the company, this translates to costs, without being able to acquire new customers or retain the existing ones. Over time, this is bound to have an adverse effect on the company’s bottom line. One of the best ways for a company to increase customer engagement is finding ways to simplify the life of customers and the good news is that there are techniques to gauge this. These techniques allow companies to figure out how easy or tough it is for customers to make sense of the information they provide, how much they trust the information, and how easily they are able to make buying decisions based on the information they receive. Brands that consistently aim to simplify the life of customers will have a better chance at business success. The easier a company makes it for the customers, the higher the probability that they would buy from the company and recommend it to others as well.

Marketing professionals have earned a bad reputation of complicating things and messages for customers, such that they make themselves appear knowledgeable and overwhelm the customers enough to force them to buy. However, with information being freely available, the tables have turned – the more complicated a company makes it for customers, the less likely customers are to buy, and in fact, would gravitate towards a company that would simplify their life. This shift in orientation towards simplicity, has now made it mandatory for companies to rethink their messages and come up with new marketing strategies. In being able to simplify the life of customers, companies now must make navigation of their websites easier, build trust through clear and concise communication, put forth products that scream quality and innovation, and top all of this with top class customer service.

Companies are dealing with a lot more competition that is becoming fiercer by the day, which in turn leads them to try to gain maximum ‘view time’ with customers. This in turn makes them send out a lot more information than customers care for or have the inclination to read. Constant messages lead to an information overload, which pushes customers towards irritation arising out of confusion from the inability to grasp all the information. No one wants to seem ‘dumb’ and with the overwhelming amounts of information pushed their way by companies, this is exactly how customers feel and their natural reaction is to block out such companies. Instead, companies must change course and attempt to simplify the life of customers by minimizing the number of messages, using channels of information dissemination that customers prefer, keeping lines of communication open and simple, and by adding the personal touch to every interaction.

The most successful and powerful brands are those that move customers away from the path to confusion and adding value while being able to simplify the life of customers. Customers are more likely to be ‘won over’ by interactions with a company that show them how the products and services would benefit them, solve problems for them, and overall serve to simplify the life of customers. Flashy advertisements, over the top promotions, and shrewd marketing now fail to cut it with customers – they want to know how all of this will add value and simplify their frenzied and harried life. Simplicity is therefore, now linked to not just making it better for customers, but in doing so gaining profits and long-term business success for a company.

In order to simplify the life of customers, a company must aim at sending out one clear and meticulously written message, rather than many complicated and poorly written ones. While a company may believe that many messages would work better to keep it in the forefront with customers, this is not always true. Too many messages would only irritate the busy customers of today, and would be a waste of time, effort, and money for a company, without any gains. In addition, a simple message that focuses on the customer would be better received, even if the same message were to be sent out repeatedly. As mentioned, rushed customers may not pay attention to the message the first time, but by the third or fourth time, the information within the messages would finally hit home, making it more effective. Many messages need more time and each time would need to build context with the previous messages – not only would this confuse customers, it would increase costs for the company both for customer retention and acquisition.

Successful messages would be those that have a single-minded focus and a clear intention – that is to simplify the life of customers and base the messages around how customers feel and think. In addition, a company must focus on providing the best products and services, yet simple to understand and use, with the lowest price points in the market. This kind of an approach of a company, would allow them to sell their products anywhere across the world and to a much wider audience base. While it may not be easy to do, it is certainly a reliable method to gain the attention of customers and sustain it for a very long time. Companies must extend themselves, leveraging the updated technology, reorganize their strategies, and providing top class service to customers, such that over time their customers become a formidable army of ‘marketers’ encouraging others to buy and do business with the company. As mentioned, this is easier said than done and unless companies are committed and relentless in their approach, they would fail to simplify the life of customers, which would turn them away for good.

We know that customers buy most often for emotional reasons. A company that can approach and ‘feed’ these emotions would be better equipped at not only retaining its own customers, but also ‘stealing’ customers away from its competitors. No customer wants to do business with an ‘I’ focused company – the focus and drive must be the customer. Irrespective of the business or industry, the companies that can simplify the life of customers through affordable, attractive, acceptable, and sustainable methods will be the ones with the competitive edge and would be able to trounce its competition. Is your company focused on simplifying the lives of its customers?

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