Just about every good company I can think of has one. A Pain Point. An obstacle that not only gets in the way of a sale, but has the potential of derailing it all together.
For Amazon, it’s the inability to talk to a real human being. For Apple, it’s the incompatibility with 90% of the computer world. For Starbuck’s, it’s paying $3.50 for a simple cup of coffee.
Seems like no matter what you do, for some customers, anyway, there’s going to be a Pain Point you won’t have a heck of a lot of control over. So what can you do? How can you keep it from turning off your audience?
First, find out how critical the Pain Point really is. Often Pain Points are not as meaningful to customers as we make them out to be. Is it a deal breaker or just a minor annoyance? Until you get some real insight from customers, you won’t really know.
Another tactic for dealing with a Pain Point is to engineer your customer’s experience so it is not the one thing she remembers once the transaction is finished. Princeton Professor Daniel Kahnemann’s work in the field of hedonic psychology (the study of happiness) shows that memories of transactions are really based primarily on two things: the “peak experience” (either positive or negative) and the “end experience.” Think ahead to ensure your Pain Point is not the peak experience your customer takes away above all others.
Getting back to the Amazon example, I’d be surprised if one customer in a thousand would say his peak experience was not being able to locate a “contact us” button on the site. The reason is that Amazon provides so much more that can serve as a visitor’s peak experience: the selection, the product reviews, the ability to shop several vendors at a glance, the personalized recommendations for you, etc.
So before you throw up your hands and pull out all stops to revamp your business model to soften or eliminate your current Pain Points, take a look at your bottom line. If your Pain Points are excruciating, you’ll see evidence of that there. Perhaps there is something you can add to your customers’ experience that, while not curing the Pain Point, can add a positive counter balance that can make it a bit easier to swallow.
Don’t let your Pain Point get in the way of a successful transaction.
Posted by Mickey