Part 3 - Part Three: Case Studies of Reduced Customer Friction from 5 Companies

Part Three: Case Studies of Reduced Customer Friction from 5 Companies

4-Part series on how to create a frictionless experience

In Part Two you put yourself in the mind of your customer, following the white rabbit down your conversion funnel and listing elements of friction. We also discussed several methods to gather more information by talking with stakeholders, interviewing customers and analyzing your website metrics.

Life is increasingly lived in “micro-moments,” defined by Google as, “intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.”

Your customers want something specific when they are interacting with you, otherwise, they wouldn’t be. If you can help them achieve what they want by reducing friction, you will be ahead of your competition who doesn’t.

The marketplace is lit up by examples of friction solutions.

Case Study | Amazon

Pain Point: The cost and time to ship an online purchase.

Friction: Buying products online is easy, but shipping is expensive and slow when the customer needs it sooner, so they go to a brick-and-mortar competitor instead.

Solution: Amazon Prime – free two-day shipping and in select cities, free same-day delivery for loyal Amazon Prime members.

Case Study | Assisted sales using digital signage

Pain Point: Not enough information at POS (point of sale).

Friction: In a busy retail store during peak hours, there aren’t enough sales associates to answer customer questions about product. Because the products are expensive or sophisticated, they require more information before conversion. Without help, some customers get frustrated and leave.

Solution: Digital signage placed next to these products giving key details and explanations needed for a customer to convert.

Case Study | Uber

Pain Point: Waiting for a cab causes anxiety.

Friction: Wondering if a cab will show up, how much it will cost and how much should be tipped causes anxiety for a lot of people.

Solution: Uber disrupted the taxi industry by offering a “personal driver” service that alerts the customer of the driver’s progress, the estimated cost and automatically bills the customer’s account at the end.

Pain Point: Paying for your cab fare is stressful.

Friction: Traditionally, the cab fare question is a bit like determining airfare prices. In other words, what is the formula, exactly? How do I know if I’m being charged fairly?

Solution: Payment for your ride is displayed before you request a ride, then occurs automatically through the Uber application. What this does for you psychologically is that you actually don’t have to think about making the payment. You leave the car happy that you’ve arrived at your destination.

Case Study | Instant EMV Credit Cards

Pain Point: Customer must physically visit a bank branch or retail location to obtain or replace a credit card.

Friction: Students during their University Welcome Week are interested in opening a bank account but few make it to the brick-and-mortar location to finish the paperwork.

Solution: An instant EMV machine is brought to the Welcome Week Open House and students can complete all the steps opening their account on the spot, even walking away with their fully activated EMV card.

Case Study | Cloud-based POS (Point-of-sale) systems

Pain Point: Desired product is out of stock.

Friction: Customers going to the competition due to product unavailability.

Solution: Using a cloud-based POS system that tracks stock levels across all stores and selling platforms, a retail business can locate the desired product and make it available to the customer.

Let’s sum it up

The Business Value Hierarchy

business value hierarchyA strategic approach to cure underperformance and leapfrog your competition

Protect and enhance your marketplace value by either becoming a top player (perhaps “the” top player) in your value category or better yet, launching yourself into a higher-value and more profitable category.  » Download the Whitepaper

Your customers want something from you or they wouldn’t be there in the first place. By giving them what they want as friction-free as possible, you will outperform your competition who does not solve their friction. The quicker, simpler connection between the customer and what they want is the winner.

Stay Tuned for Part Four: Reduce Employee Friction

This blog originally appeared at

Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

“Take care of your employees and they will take care of the clients.”– Sir Richard Branson

Debbie (Breemeersch) Schwake

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