Keep it Simple for your Customers

We’ve heard of the K.I.S.S. method, right? It stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid.

Wikipedia tells us the origin came from a design principle first used by the U.S. Navy in the 1960’s. It still rings true today in many forms: product design, communications, and any process, including your customer’s purchase process.

K.I.S.S. Doesn’t Apply to Bathroom Remodeling

I’ve personally wanted an easier process to find and purchase flooring, a vanity, countertop and faucet for a bathroom remodeling project. There are just too many choices and too many variables in a very long buying process.

We tried big box stores with limited customer support and thousands of listings online, DIY home improvement outlets, specialized bath showrooms, and have had two contractors in our home to look at our project.  It’s not simple – anywhere! Where is a virtual bathroom design center? Wait, let me Google that now…

We’ve invested a lot of time shopping around and comparing options. Our last stop was a showroom that promoted a “packaged bath remodel” for a set price, something that sounded simple and straightforward.  It sounds promising, right?! When we arrived, we learned that this packaged deal would not apply for our project (it was basically a loss leader), so we were again faced with numerous tile, counter, and vanity choices all around the showroom.  Fortunately, a helpful sales associate stepped in to suggest a few pairing options. While we have narrowed down some ideas with in-store help, we are now waiting for quotes, which has extended the research phase and pushes back our remodeling plans for several weeks. This is NOT simple.

How can you HELP Your Customers?

The concept of keeping it simple and helping your customers is not a new idea at all.  For an excellent read on this subject, turn to Jay Baer and YOUTILITY: Why Smart Marketing is about Help Not Hype.

Think about how a customer engages with any given company from initial exposure.

In our case this was the ad for the bathroom remodeling package.  The ad drove me to their website that didn’t fully answer my questions, so only after being frustrated with the other retailers did we head to their store. We had hoped to go on a Saturday, but the store had week-day only hours, making it more difficult to get there.

What barriers might there be along each touchpoint? Are there negative points or minor inconveniences that cause customers to look elsewhere? In my example, we experienced lack of knowledgeable staff, limited store hours, and too many choices online.

Where in the decision making process do customers seem to disappear? How many customers finally convert and make a purchase?

These may be difficult questions to answer, but with a bit of research, surveys, focus groups or interviews, it’s possible to gain actionable insight to help “keep it simple” for your customer to interact with and buy from you.