Some people we know refer to this as the “grand-daddy” of all great marketing ideas, and it certainly is a great one — one that, when you understand it and implement what it means, will reap you significant rewards.
This concept is, in fact, central to many of the ideas in these articles — ideas like Unique Core Differentiators and certainly ideas like Risk Removal.
So, let’s take a look at it.
To help you understand and work with the idea, consider dealing with a contractor. Well no, don’t consider dealing with a contractor; consider dealing with contractors in general.
Think about it and then ask yourself, “What is one of the most frustrating things about dealing with them?”
There are usually two answers that come out in rapid succession. First, THEY’RE UNRELIABLE. And second, THEY DON’T CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES.
Now imagine that you are a contractor. Imagine you knew about those key frustrations and that you wanted to build the most extraordinary contractors’ business in the world.
Wouldn’t you now make sure that when customers dealt with you, they would NEVER experience those key frustrations?
Follow the logic. People get upset dealing with contractors because they are unreliable. Therefore, if someone is out there who makes it his business to be reliable, even to guarantee it, then that contractor is going to get a lot more business.
Not only that, that contractor is going to get work at a higher rate than his competitors. All of this simply because that contractor has locked onto a key frustration and made sure that his customers don’t experience it when they deal with him.
Go further and suppose the contractor built special systems to make sure his customers always see him as reliable. Then, suppose that to attract more customers, he developed a guarantee like this:
“When I say I’ll be there at 10, I’ll be there at 10. And if I’m not, I don’t expect you to pay for the first hour of my time.”
Or, how about this:
“When I say I’ll be there at 10, I’ll be there. And if I’m not, I’ll reduce your bill by a full 25% AND carry that discount on to the next job I get from you.”
Obviously, the guarantee can be articulated in any number of ways, but that’s beside the point. The point is, when you build a business based around making sure the customer does not experience a key frustration that they typically experience when they deal with others in your industry or profession, people will use their discretion and choose you.
Interestingly enough, time is a major frustration when people deal with many businesses today. For instance, when you arrive at the hairdressers in time for your appointment, are they ready on time? Most of the time, they’re not. Imagine if they said, “If we keep you waiting, the next haircut is on us.”
Would that increase their business? (Well, it’s worth testing, isn’t it?)
What about when you visit the professional offices of a lawyer or a dentist? Is waiting time a key frustration again? You bet it is. Any professional who built systems to make sure his clients never experienced that frustration would surely see an increase in business.
So, exploring key frustrations creates a wonderful opportunity for your business. The question is, how do you find out what they are?
Surprise, surprise — you ask your customers! You can do that in what we call a Client (or Customer) Advisory Board.
Take the case of Ronnie Malthouse. She runs a travel agency in Perth, Western Australia. Ronnie discovered that many people felt that most travel agents made errors in booking details.
Therefore, Ronnie now has a Commitment Form for her customers that says in part, “We guarantee that if the loss in enjoyment of any part of your trip is caused by an error made by us, we will refund that part of your investment in full.”
Seeking key frustrations is a major key to developing a great business. Consider for a moment how what we’ve spoken about so far can relate to a Unique Core Differentiator. It really is a great starting point.
Consider another key point too. By defining key frustrations, you’re giving the business an external and powerful focus.
It’s a great place to start if you decide to work with us on developing your business.
The message is, I hope, clear. Go in search of a key frustration and make sure, with systems, guarantees, and Team Commitments, that your customers will never experience that frustration when they’re dealing with you.