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How User-Friendly is Your Business? 4 Ways to Avoid Becoming Frenemies with Your Customers

By: SmallBizClub

 

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As our world makes rapid, almost daily advances in technology, your business can’t afford to fall behind. No matter how you’ve been doing business in the past, you must realize that customers are looking for the newest, easiest, or most convenient way to shop and get their services. If you can’t provide them with a simple, stress-free process for getting your product or using your service. When someone walks away from a sale, they may never come back. That is why it is imperative that you not only incorporate technology into your business plan, but that you fine-tune all your processes so that you are making shopping, purchases, and services as easy for customers as possible. Read ahead for a few ideas that will help your company become more user-friendly, helping you to remain pals with your customers instead of watching them walk away.

 
Website Features that Sell
 
Having a website for your business is truly the only way to survive in the modern world. However, if your company offers online services or online purchases, having a website that is not user-friendly will hurt you more than it will help you. If the website is difficult to navigate, and checkout processes don’t run smoothly, you’re sure to lose a lot of customers. You can include services like Facebook logins to reduce the time to register by making it a one-click process. Or, you can add chat so that you can provide customer service for people still trying to make up their mind or who have a specific problem they need addressed before they buy. Make sure that important features of the site are clear and prominent on the page. Make your checkout process as simple as possible so that customers don’t abandon the cause before making the purchase. Having a user-friendly website is essential for any company, especially those who sell products or offer services online. Don’t let a confusing website hold you back from sales you should be making.
 
Let Them Pay on the Spot
 
Many customers are discouraged from making purchases if they have to wait in long lines, or compete with other customers for attention. The days of lining customers up behind a giant cash register are dying out while the use of point-of-sale card swipers is a dream come true for the customer who wants to get in and out quickly. Get a swiper that you can attach to your mobile phone or iPad and take credit card payments even if you’re not near a desktop. Point of sale swipers can work with the iPhone, iPad or Androids, so you can make this payment method available through every employee in the store by having everyone use phones or other devices. Not only will your customers be happier, but you will be able to increase efficiency with wireless credit card processing.
 
Enhance User Experience with Apps
 
If you haven’t yet, take advantage of the many benefits that come from providing your customers with an app for your company. Creating an app for your business will make it that much easier for customers to access information, order products, or look something up—and if it is easier, they are more likely to buy from you. Many companies create apps that assist customers with ordering, give them special offers, or even allow them to play games made by the company to generate interest. Restaurants can include punchcard apps, like epunched.com, that allow users to collect and track points for free products and services on their smartphone. Apps that show your map location with directions can be ideal for location-based businesses. Basically, anything you can make available on a smartphone will increase the amount of interaction you can have with customers. Providing an app with special features separate from your website will give you a way to provide convenient information and services to the huge market of smartphone users.
 
More Ways to Pay
 
While the use of credit and debit cards is how most customers like to pay, it is smart to offer as many payment options as possible. It’s not enough to include Visa and MasterCard. Some people want to pay with PayPal, others with Bitcoin. Make as many payment options available as possible to make sure you meet the needs of your clients. You can even use PayPal subscription services for those that want to pay on installment. By offering alternative payment options, customers are more likely to buy from you because they can use whatever method works best for them—they don’t have to use the method you dictate. Opening up payment options for customers will definitely benefit your company by putting the customer in control, and making payment options more flexible.
 
If you want to be friends with your customers, you will have to embrace technology. By incorporating technologies to make your sales process more efficient and also pleasant, you also make your business more attractive. Even if your processes are a little more difficult than others, customers will often go to competitors just because of convenience. The easier you can make any process related to your business, the better. Cater to the customer as much as possible, making purchasing quick, easy, and painless. Apps, payment processors, and devices that smooth out the sales process will end up paying you back in the end, so consider them an essential investment.
 
Dixie SomersAuthor: Dixie Somers writes about business, finance, women’s interests, and family. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Published: February 27, 2014
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SmallBizClub

SmallBizClub.com is dedicated to providing small businesses and entrepreneurs the information and resources they need to start, run, and grow their businesses. The publication was founded by successful entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton. We bring you the most insightful thinking from industry leaders, veteran business owners, and fellow entrepreneurs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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