Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Ambiguity is the Enemy of Profitability

Confusion is expensive.

If people don’t know what to expect when they come to your door, the organization will burn piles of money trying to reeducate, reassure and reaffirm people who they are.

Smart companies start early. They build expectational clarity to buttress the transaction. That way, they create greater anticipation in the customer’s mind, capturing their imagination for what’s come.

Icontact is a perfect digital example. The moment you subscribe to any publication on their platform, you’re prompted with questions: What are you going to get? How can you ensure our email gets to you? Is my information secure? Then, each of the answers is custom written by the publishers themselves. And all of this happens before you receive your first issue.

Weiner Circle is the perfect analog example. Customers rarely show up to wait in line without first hearing crazy stories from friends, viewing fun pictures online or learning instructions on how, specifically to order. A word to the wise, a chocolate shake isn’t what you think.

Whatever business you’re in, ambiguity is the enemy of profitability.

But learn to telegraph reliability, eliminate guesswork and deliver a series of predictable promises, and you’ll save a bundle.