17% of business failures are caused by unfriendly product experience.
are because they were out competed.
That means 36% of business failures can boil down to one thing: friction. Friction in the way our customer interacts with our product or service, and friction in ease of use between my product and my competitors. If my product or service is hard to use and my competitor’s isn’t – I’m going to lose my customers. If my competitor is savvy enough to call out this disparity in their marketing, it’s going to be even worse.
If you suspect you have some friction in your how your product works, how you onboard your clients, how you hand over code, how you deliver services, etc., you’re probably right. We all have more friction in our business than we’d care to admit, so a simple solution is to hold a friction meeting with your team.
Gather all of the intel you have.
- Assumptions. Just by being in your business, you will have an idea and some assumptions of where there are sticky points in your customer’s journey with your product or service. These hunches are a great starting point, but you do need actual data and customer feedback to know for sure.
- Team Experience. You and your team should have plenty of experience working with your product or service, therefore, they may have a lot say about their specific journey. Get that out in front of the team as well.
- Focus Groups. If you are able to hold customer focus groups watching them with your product, app, etc. that’s gold.
- Surveys/Forums/FAQ. Comb through customer support tickets, emails or feedback you’ve received from your customers. Check out forums or facebook groups to see what customers are saying about your product/service and what they are saying about your competitor. And whenever possible, send surveys to your customers to get their feedback directly.
Look at all of the data holistically.
Present all of the data to your team. Get everyone involved. From marketing to sales, operations to IT, everyone will see the data a bit differently allowing you to get a deep view on where friction is occurring and why.
Pull out any key insights you see or common threads. Have the team agree on these insights so everyone is clear on what is standing out in all of your collected data.
Get clear on what the problem is for each key insight. Each insight, when distilled down, will show you where there is friction that is causing your customer to abandon your product, cancel your service, move on to a competitor, etc. Get super clear on what those friction points are and WHY.
Time to grease the wheels.
Identify the top 2 or 3 key problems you think your team can address now. There may be some really big friction points that will need to be addressed with a lot of time and money, so what can be fixed now? Or what is the work around until then?
Brainstorm possible solutions to each problem. Every solution is welcome at this point. Don’t shoot any idea down, no matter how outlandish it may be. Just brainstorm and collect all of the solutions your team can think of.
Choose the most appropriate solution. For each friction point, you’ll want to have a clear solution chosen and task it out to your team.
Choose metrics that will allow you to see progress on resolving the friction. For example, if customers sign up for a free trial and only 1% converts, you may have noticed in your research that customers say it’s too confusing to get their account completely set up – so they just don’t. A potential solution is a DIFY account set up. After a few months, you’ll want to measure if conversion has increased from 1%. Do this for each friction point/solution.
Post Meeting Measurement
Task someone on the team to stay on top of the metrics you’ve chosen and keep the rest of the team aware on a weekly basis. After a pre-determined amount of time, a month, quarter, etc. decide if you are on track. If not, make the necessary adjustments.
The key is to listen closely to your customer whenever possible.
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