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Easy Ways to Improve Barriers for (Potential) Customers

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I recently had a conversation with someone who said they doubled(!) their conversion rate simply by changing one line of text on their website.

Clearly, even the smallest change in detail can have profound effects.

Promoting vs. Inhibiting Pressures

For any decision a (potential) customer makes, there are promoting pressures and inhibiting pressures.

Effectively, promoting pressures are anything encouraging someone to make a “yes” decision, while inhibiting pressures are things that discourage someone from making a “yes” decision.

Or rather, inhibiting pressures keep people from converting.

If your business is interested in getting more customers, you need to focus on increasing promoting pressures and decreasing inhibiting pressures.

Mark Cuban Make Your Product Easier to Buy Quote

Both pressures are often found in seemingly insignificant details, like the phrasing of a call-to-action, where something is positioned on a page, or how many clicks it takes to find X.

Even large corporations will agree that changing the color of a single button, for example, can lead to a drastic change in sales!

These positive changes are the ones you typically want to look for, because they replace inhibiting pressures with promoting pressures.

Though both are important, minimizing inhibiting pressures usually creates better results than trying to maximize promoting pressures. To quote Microsoft behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert

“When we spend a dollar on inhibiting pressures, that dollar goes farther than spending it on promoting pressures.”

I.e. your business will find more success in removing things that might slow someone down or keep them from buying than you will trying to incentivize purchases.

What to Look for

There’s always a way to make things easier. And every time you make one of your website viewers take an extra step (click a button, read copy, scroll down, think, etc.) your conversion rates drop. So, what could you improve?

Examples include:

  • Simplifying the purchasing process (think Amazon)
  • Changing homepage content placement for better flow
  • Clarifying your pricing
  • Adapting to mobile (mobile optimization)
  • Generally simplifying your website
  • Using a different font, or adding white space
  • Trying a new call-to-action
  • Even changing one sentence in the middle of a page

If you were a customer looking for something like what your business does, what exactly would you want?

Now make that as easy to find and get to as possible.

Customers are always looking for a way to do and get more

Don't forget about this part!

Direct communication with a brand is often a large inhibiting pressure. Waiting on hold, poor email responses, and pushy salesmen have left a bad taste with many consumers.

Yet communication is normally overlooked.

If potential customers would rather communicate with a real person, you need to make that an option. You could use live chat, email, forms, texting, or calls. But you need to make it easy to reach you!

Related: 8 Reasons Why Texting is Crucial to Business Communication

You need to be personable, and you need to be quick.

How to Remove Barriers to Communication

If you’re going to ask people to email you, at least make it personal. Instead of using contact@ or info@yourbiz.com, use a person’s name, like stacy@yourbiz.com.

No, Stacy doesn’t actually have to be the one responding to every single inquiry. But this let’s people feel like they're communicating with a person instead of a general inbox.

If you want people to call you, use an area code specific number. Asking someone to call an 800 number is the same as asking someone to hate their life for half an hour before hanging up in frustration.

It's the essence of inhibiting pressures.

Customer Service that Makes Customers Happier

Consumers want communication that is personal, that is mobile, and that is timely.

So, really, consumers want to be able to text you.

Text numbers have a local area code. It’s quick, simple, and let’s everyone move on with their day, communicating as able.

Like pricing and clarity, texting can both increase promoting pressures and decrease inhibiting pressures. Plus, text responses virtually always come within minutes.

Wrapping Up

You need to minimize barriers to entry for (potential) customers.

This means focusing on the little details of your site from a customer's viewpoint. What would make it easier? More personal?

Texting is one of the most personal things we do everyday, and it’s one of the quickest tools you can implement with any business.

Related: 7 Simple Steps to Quickly Convert More Online Leads