How Reducing Friction Made Me a Happy New Customer July 27, 2017January 31, 2019 Q2 How Reducing Friction Made Me a Happy New Customer The Dreaded Process Recently I had to help my college-aged daughter buy a used car and I was dreading the process. Why? I didn’t want to drag myself to the used car lot looking for a car I had seen online, only to find it was nothing like it had appeared to be online. Most of all, I dreaded having to deal with the salesperson and inevitably, their manager who would have to “approve” the great deal they were going to give me, if I purchased today. Friction at every turn of the process. Begrudgingly, we went to the used car lot and the experience I dreaded began. I was greeted by Chad, who proceeded to show me cars – none of which fit my criteria – but his manager wanted me to know he was willing to deal. I declined, we shook hands, and I left. The experience was as unpleasant as the cologne that Chad had doused himself with and now my hand reeked of it. The Pleasant & Unexpected Discovery Then I discovered a service called Shift. Only 3 years old, they are trying to disrupt the used car industry by offering a solution that, in my opinion, is devoid of much of the friction associated with buying a used car that I described above. Shift’s business model is to reduce friction for the customer to provide a convenient and easy customer experience – something that traditional used car lots haven’t figured out. Shift’s service includes: an easy-to-use UI that allows you to search their inventory based upon some very basic criteria. bringing the car to your home or office to test drive a free Carfax report a 200-point inspection on the vehicle and documented report of any repairs made an app that delivers virtually the same experience from your mobile device a no-haggle price, and you can set up financing through them 5 days to return it for a full refund if you change your mind The Happy Ending I ended up buying the car, and I probably paid about $700 more than I could have somewhere else. But to me, the ease and convenience of the process was well worth it. I’ve become a champion for the company, telling many of my friends and family about the experience as well. We all have stories like this – where we are genuinely impressed that an often-dreaded task is transformed into a surprisingly easy and almost delightful experience. Customer experience matters, and reducing friction is the key. The technology revolution we are in the midst of is meant to solve for that. In this case, it was a combination of technology and in-person service that made it such a positive experience. The result is a happy new customer who will do more business and is telling friends and family about it. Isn’t that what every business aspires to achieve?