My first job out of college was as a direct mail copy writer, so I quickly learned the magic words that create response -- the most powerful being "new" and "free." That was quite a few years ago, however, and life is different... not only were there no blogs, vlogs, text messaging or MyPlace, there was no email, fax, internet, cell phones, cable TV, infomercials, or ezines. Back then movies came with cartoons instead of advertising and doctors, dentists, accountants, and lawyers didn’t advertise at all. "New" didn’t happen all that often and we believed people when they said "free."
It wasn’t till I saw the Staples "easy" ads and actually purchased four Easy Buttons (which say "That was easy!" when you press them) to use in a workshop, that it dawned on me that "easy" is the new "free." Life is complicated and everyone seems to be on an endless learning curve. Just about the time I start feeling comfortable with my software, a new version comes out or someone tells me about a new tool I "just have to have." When my career first started, I felt very competent with my tools, now, with all of the technology available, it seems like everyone has a low-grade sense of
incompetence. So tell me something’s easy and I’m all yours (of course, you have to make me believe it first).
Here’s a recent experience. We just bought a house and decided to get the mortgage through our bank (which will remain nameless) because we’d had very good experience with our "personal banker." We quickly got a pre-approval and once the purchase deal was signed, we were on our way to a mortgage. But then ... our "personal banker" quit and things spiraled quickly out of control. Endless calls to and from a variety of people, different stories, interest rates promised and then retracted. It got ugly.
After a frustrating two weeks, I decided to create a backup plan. This was Sunday night. Ten minutes of filling out an online form with Ditech and a two-hour wait and I had six "offers" at interest rates better than my bank was offering. A quick inquiry at LendingTree yielded an almost immediate email response saying someone would call me soon. A short form at QuickenLoans prompted another "We’ll repond soon" reply. Monday morning, Jason from QuickenLoans called, took a little more information and told me he’d call back in an hour. Forty-five minutes later he called to tell me we’d been approved and exactly what needed to happen. By the end of Tuesday, we had signed documents through a simple online process and had a written commitment to rates and costs. "That was easy!"
In the meantime, while someone from LendingTree finally called on Thursday, no one ever called from Ditech and the bank is still grinding in circles, presumably still cranking out a mortgage but who would know for sure? That definitely wasn’t easy.
So, how could you make life easier for your customers (internal or external)? It may be the most powerful thing you could do.
* Apparently over 100,000 Easy Buttons have been sold (at $4.95 each) with all the proceeds up to $1 million going to the Boys and Girls Club of America.