A Big Trend in Customer Experience (CX): Convenience

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Build a Better MoustrapCompetitive Strategy

What is one of the most valuable commodities in the world? Time!

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” This is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the concept of a better mousetrap is a great metaphor for a reason to continuously innovate.

In a competitive business world, price, selection, customer service and innovation are major reasons customers might choose one company over another. We can now add another concept to the mix, and that is convenience. (And, by the way, the reason I included innovation to my mix of competitive reasons is that it takes innovation to create convenience.)

Many will argue that convenience is part of customer service or the customer experience. I’ll agree with that, but it is becoming so important, that I’m willing to separate it out. There are businesses that use convenience as their sole competitive differentiator.

There is a reason that convenience stores are called convenience stores. Think about it. They are smaller than other retailers that carry similar items. They aren’t necessarily the lowest price. Yet, somehow they don’t just survive against their larger competitors. They thrive. Why? Because they are convenient. They are in the neighborhood. They are on the way to or from work or on the right side of the street. They aren’t as crowded, so a customer can get in and out much quicker. For what they lack in the selection of merchandise, they make up for in convenience.

If you want to learn about how a company competes on convenience, take a look at one of the biggest companies on the planet, Amazon. They are a case study for convenience.

When you think of Amazon, you might think of low prices and big selection. I can name dozens of other companies, both online and brick-and-mortar that do the same thing. Amazon knows it competes with all retailers. So, they broke out of the low price and big selection game with convenience. They want to save time and make life easier for their customers. They created the Amazon Prime program that gets merchandise shipped to you, without shipping charges, in two days or less. They created the Dash button that allows you to purchase merchandise with the simple push of a button. They want to eliminate as many steps as possible from the time a customer is thinking about purchasing a product until that product is delivered. And, now they are setting up distribution centers throughout major cities that can get merchandise to you in two hours or less. Speed and simplicity is what they are about.

So, regardless of the type of business you’re in, how can you create convenience for your customers? What would your customers define as convenience? Figure that out and you have another competitive strategy that will take you and your business to the next level.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d take this idea even farther. Convenience isn’t a comprehensive enough word to describe this competitive advantage.

    Think of it this way.

    In any marketplace, your customer is a person who wants something and overcomes adversity to get it. The goal of your company should be to help them overcome their obstacle faster or more effectively than existing solutions.

    Sometimes this will involve elements of location, other times speed, but the list of possibilities are endless. The real question shouldn’t be, “How can I improve customer experience by making this more convenient?” It should be, “How can I help my customers overcome their obstacles faster or more effectively so they can get to the outcome they want?”

    P.S. The credit for the phrase “a person who wants something and overcomes adversity to get it,” goes to Donald Miller.

  2. Hi Dereck – Great comment. I don’t disagree. Anything that removes obstacles, can make a process easier, quicker, etc. can usually be called “more convenient.” In the end, it’s all about the customer experience – making it better.

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