Of course. But maybe.
Louis CK has a fantastic theory. It goes like this:
Everybody has a competition in their brain of good thoughts and bad thoughts. Hopefully, the good thoughts win. For me, I always have both. I have like, the thing, I believe the good thing, that’s the thing I believe and than there is this thing. And I don’t believe it, but it is there. It’s always this thing and then this thing. It’s become a category in my brain that I call “of course but maybe.”
Louis CK - Of Course, But Maybe
Here’s a concrete example.
Now how it applies to customer service.
Time Warner Cable. No one is fond of this company. And their is a laundry list of reasons.
I’m moving this month and was ready to cancel my internet services. I do not have cable. And as much as that blows the minds of Time Warner representatives, they fail to treat me any differently or even in my native language.
Besides the point. Go to Time Warner Cable’s website right now and try to cancel your account. The process is full of frustration.
You have to search how to cancel. It’s not clear.
You can cancel a service, but not your account, by chatting with a customer service representative. Account cancellations must be processed through a customer service representative and cannot be initiated online.
So you can bill online. You can shop online. Make an appointment online. But can’t cancel online.
After a 13 minute call with Time Warner Cable, you’re re-routed several times before speaking to someone you can help. The account is finally canceled. But you’re phone looks like a baby was using the keypad.
Why not just let people cancel online? It’s a simple process. One that might bring them back again.
Of course, Time Warner Cable doesn’t want customers to cancel. But maybe, if they make it near impossible to cancel - customers will never want to do business with them again.
It’s not a favorable word for anyone who is involved in email marketing. But it happens.
Why is it so hard to unsubscribe? But easy to subscribe?
And when you unsubscribe, you receive another email to confirm that you wanted to unsubscribe.
Let’s get this straight. You opt-out of the email list. You make an effort to say - “stop emailing me.” So people just decide to email you again.
People spell out this frustration. And some have even built Chrome extensions to help you unsubscribe. Shenanigans.
It’s something so easy, yet companies make it so hard.
What if companies sent an email that looks like this?
Sure lots of people will unsubscribe. But the ones that didn’t are probably you’re most valuable customers.
Of course, people don’t want you to unsubscribe from their email newsletter. Of course, they don’t.
But maybe, if unsubscribing from your email list is like completing a puzzle - people won’t unsubscribe.
Or maybe they will never subscribe again.
Free trials. It’s common in software products. Like a drug dealer. You get a taste of the product for free.
But why do companies want your credit card for the trial?
Prezi hits people with a $159 charge at the end of their free 30 day trial. It’s outlined with sketchy documentation, but it’s still not fair. The charge is for an annual fee.
Did we not agree on a month free? This leaves people feeling abused. It shatters trust at the first impression.
Lincoln Murphy details how requiring a credit card does more harm than good. An example is through Hookfeed.
Hookfeed might be a phenomenal product (never used it). It delivers Stripe analytics to its customers. It might even be a case where a credit card is required. The product is directly related to billing.
Requiring a credit card lost them a sale.
Of course, you want people to pay for your product. But maybe, if you require a credit card upfront, you will trick them into buying it.
Or maybe you will never earn their business in the first place.
Stop making the easy things hard for your customers.