Back Office

Is Friction Slowing Down Your Business Growth?

By | 08.04.21

Is Friction Slowing Down Your Business Growth?

Contributed by Neal Polachek, Founder of ThinkLikeAnApp

Just last month, Jeff Bezos spent some of his massive wealth going to the edge of earth’s atmosphere. It was quite the media spectacle, with hours of cable news devoted to the launch and the return of the four occupants of the rocket ship, New Shepard.

Their 10-minute journey required 4 million pounds of thrust to push the rocket and crew 66 miles or 350,000 feet above sea level.

Here’s the irony: Bezos and team were pushing against the friction of gravity. This is in direct contrast to one of the primary ways Bezos created his massive wealth: eliminating friction.

Eliminating Friction in Business

Friction points are those nagging obstacles that get in the way of seamless and easy transactions in your business.

For over 25 years, Bezos pushed his teams at Amazon to focus on the elimination of friction points in the purchase process. In doing so, he knew it wasn’t something that would happen overnight, but day by day by day.

Here’s what Bezos had to say about the focus on the customer experience:

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Let’s pull that statement apart. Here are the important phrases:

  • “every day”
  • “every important aspect”
  • “a little bit better.”

Every day:

Eliminating friction points is a cultural directive. It should be woven into the fabric of your operations, such that something is improved consistently and without fail.

Every important aspect:

What is truly important to your customer? While eliminating friction points is a “long game,” being clear about what parts of your process matter most will guide you regarding where to start, and how best to improve any process.

A little bit better:

Eliminating friction isn’t about massive change, it’s about incremental shifts. Such as: Shaving just a few seconds off a transaction time, or answering a question before it’s asked. Alone, eliminating any friction point may seem inconsequential, but they build on each other to make a real impact.

When you address the expectations of today’s modern consumer by eliminating friction points, you are poised to acquire and retain the best and most profitable customers.

Friction Points, Immediacy and Trust

One of the three pillars of the ThinkLikeAnApp Trust Triangle is Immediacy. It is about showing caring and concern for your customers’ experience. That’s exactly what you are doing when you eliminate friction points.

While the concept of eliminating friction points may seem purely “transactional,” anytime you are putting the customer first, you are building Trust. Every aspect of ThinkLikeAnApp is customer-centric, and Immediacy is no different.

A Real-Life Example

Just this week, I visited one of my favorite Mexican restaurants and started speaking with the owner. As we all know, COVID shifted many business practices, and this was no exception.

In order to serve customers within the restricted guidelines, he shifted from a typical sit-down type of restaurant, to one where the customers handled all of their payments, without server involvement.

Without even realizing it, he eliminated three friction points: Waiting to order, waiting for the check, and waiting to pay.

The owner’s initial intention was to move back to the previous model. However, customers are happy with this current situation. Now, he’ll add new changes that are even more customer-centric, rather than simply returning to the old way with its three friction points.

Build Customer Trust with Immediacy

Join us during our fourth and final webinar, “Showing Customers You Care by Eliminating Friction Points.” During this session, you’ll learn exactly how you can apply the principles of Immediacy to build customer Trust.

We’ll be sharing how to identify friction points for your business, as well as tips and suggestions to eliminate them.

To learn more about optimizing your customer experience, check out our four-part ThinkLikeAnApp Workshop Series here. Not enough? Join Neal and Dori live as they coach businesses on a specific implementation plan on September 23,2021 at 1 pm CT. Get registered here.

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