most people, the difference between friction in making a purchase and a
customer/client pain point does not exist. For the purists, purchase friction
typically refers to some step in the purchase process that introduces either
additional time or additional trouble, sufficient to cause or allow the customer
to reconsider the purchase. Marketers talk about friction often in designing
lead generation programs. A pain point, on the other hand, is some issue that
makes it difficult for the customer to do business with your firm.
we to ask this question in terms of canine behavior, the
difference between friction and pain point is clear. For a small black dog, the
need to go outdoors immediately before a storm is a pain point. If this little
black dog hears thunder, he will not go out the door to do any
business. Finding the shrub that smells just right could involve some friction,
especially if the need to do business occurs after a heavy rain.
often refers to the opportunity to re-think a purchase created by a registration
form that asks too many questions. Many people consider carefully if they want
to provide information to a business and how much information they are or are
not willing to share. For example, if I visit your website and discover that you
are offering a free e-book, I am probably willing to give you my name and email
address in exchange for the free e-book. Asking for a home phone number and a
date of birth might be more information than I am willing to give. Your request
for too much information creates friction that slows the process from your offer
of the e-book and a customer’s willingness to click the download button.
can create friction at any point along the path to purchase for any customer.
Requiring payment by credit or debit card for an online purchase creates
friction for a number of people. They might not be willing to provide a card
number, especially a debit card number. The same thing happens in a
brick-and-mortar store if you require payment by cash.
A pain point, on the other hand, would be defined by a purist as
something that prevents a prospective customer/client from trying to do business
with you. You might encounter a pain point if you want to get your haircut and
all of the beauty shops or barbers are open only between 9 am and 5 pm Monday
through Friday. There is some pain associated with conducting business with
these shops because you must take time off work to get your haircut. For many
people, this involves some loss of pay. Finding a beauty shop or barber that
strictly honors appointments during the lunch hour or remains open on Saturday
or several evenings per week, removes that pain for the customer.
The bottom line is this: both purchase friction and customer pain points
can derail a sale or your ability to win new customers or clients. It makes no
difference whether you deal with individuals or businesses. In any sales
context, all businesses do well to carefully analyze their sales processes and
remove both purchase friction and customer pain points.
by Staff, Little Black Dog Social Media & More