Friction Is Your Friend: Why You Should Add Some Obstacles to Your Customer Experience

By Brandon Carter

ThomasWolter / Pixabay

“People who run marathons have lost their @$%@#$ minds!”

That was my primary thought around the time I hit mile 20 in my first marathon experience.

My body ached. I hallucinated the finish line constantly, like a mirage in the desert.

I had rearranged my life for six months to train. I lost six toenails and burned through several pairs of shoes. I paid a racing company good money to enter.

I paid for this?

For the opportunity to curse at myself for four hours on what would otherwise be a relaxing Sunday?

Then, the finish line happened.

Feelings of relief, joy and accomplishment overcame me — along with a vow to never do anything like that ever again.

Fast forward a couple months, and that “never again” turned into “maybe again.” Now it’s, “You know, I could probably do that again.”

Am I just forgetful?

Maybe kinda dim?

Yes on both accounts, but there’s a bigger story to be told about customers, friction, and ownership.

The basic idea: not all friction is bad. In fact, in many cases, a little bit of helpful friction helps customers find ownership and personalization — two critical elements to long-term customer engagement and loyalty.

To Friction or Not to Friction

So many customer experience gurus are beating the drum against friction right now. A quick Google search pulls up hundreds of screeds against friction. The great Don Peppers pulls no punches:

“…before you can delight even your most loyal customers enough to turn them into the advocates you want them to be, you first need to remove every shred of friction from the customer experience.”

Another guru, Shep Hyken, describes friction as “…anything that makes doing business with someone anything other than easy.”

The idea behind eliminating friction is to make things as easy as possible for customers. Crush all speedbumps and potential roadblocks to a great experience.

Which all makes total sense. We’re big proponents of doing anything necessary to get customers to their best possible experience as soon as you can.

From that perspective, friction should of course be eliminated.

But harkening back to the marathon example, what if I didn’t have to run at all?

What if I had received a medal and shirt just for showing up? After all, I can run 26 miles on my own anytime.

The only difference is I’m rewarded when I do it in the context of a race. They’re selling the experience along with the reward, and the experience is designed around challenges and motivators that are going to make finishers feel like champions when all’s said and done.

Think of it another way: what if all it took to sign up for LinkedIn was an email address?

Just put in your email address and *BAM* you got yourself an account and the landscape is yours to roam as you see fit.

This would be a great way for LinkedIn to cut out all friction and sign up tons of users.

But it Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

Be Sociable, Share!