Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Are you easy?

Yesterday I went to the bank and deposited four checks, for a total deposit of 31 cents. Yes, that’s right. Four checks from the same company, totaling less than a dollar.

When I first started receiving these checks, the result of a series of mergers affecting a stock I own, I felt guilty. I couldn’t believe that this company was spending more on postage than the check was worth, not to mention the cost of actually creating the check, stuffing it into an envelope and processing it.

The first check I received gave me instructions for setting up direct deposits. What a fine idea! Easier for the company, easier for me. So, I went to the website they provided and filled in the form. And got an error. So I did it again. And got an error. So I called the company. After holding for several minutes, I got a message telling me to use the website.

Every few months, I go back to that website and try to set up direct deposit. It has never worked. So I keep getting checks in the mail. I save them until I am making a trip to the bank anyway, and then I deposit them all. And each time I think about how wasteful it is.

In these challenging economic times, it is constructive for all of us to stop and consider how easy it is for our customers to deal with us. Before even providing a useful product or service, are you easy to work with? Can your customers reach you? Can they interact with you efficiently and effectively, painlessly? If your customer wanted to actually help you save money, do you make it easy for them?

When you are thinking about the Four P’s of Product, Price, Place and Promotion, don’t forget the Big E for Easy.

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