CHECK OUT THE INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK
“The Convenience Economy: B2B Adapt or Pay the Price”
MEET YOUR CUSTOMER WHERE THEY ARE
There’s a saying in business. ”Meet your customer where they are.” People want on-demand, anywhere, anytime service. They’ll pay more for that convenience. But, is the convenience economy really convenient? We asked ourselves, “How could we create a way to help businesses serve their customers better in today’s convenience economy?”
THEN, IT HIT ME.
My sons were home from college break doing their homework at the dining room table. My younger son was getting agitated – he started to sigh loudly, pushed his laptop away, shoved back the chair and got up from where he had been sitting.
“What’s up?” I said.
“These classes drive me crazy – there are 14 to 16 sessions, and they’re video classes of about 90 minutes each. I’m trying to find when my professor talked about gross margin calculations,” he said.
“Well, can’t you just search them?” I replied
“Uh, yea….but, do the math, dad.”
So, I did – 90 minutes times 14 sessions – 1,260 minutes, 21 hours. It could take him days to find that reference.
“Isn’t there some way to find this automatically?” my son asked.
At around the same time, I was working with a friend to help him automate customer interactions, without losing the relationship factor to developing customer loyalty and fostering exceptional communication. So, my mind had been wrapped about creating convenience, and how to use it in the business world, when the idea hit me.
Customers prefer to watch, not read.
IF ONE COULD “TALK” TO A VIDEO LIKE YOU TALK TO SIRI, OR ALEXA…
If convenience for a customer is on-demand (we want things now), digital first (they are online because it is convenient), and when they want to “how-to,” or when they want to understand or learn something they would prefer to watch not read. Your business wants to, and needs to, accommodate this but the difficulty is finding a way to replicate customer facing people: digitally, and on-demand.
But, if one could “talk” to a video like you talk to Siri, or Alexa – and get a quick, on-demand, digital answer, this problem is solved. The idea of searchable video, what we call Smart Watchable Assets, was born to fill this need. My son could type in “gross margin calculation,” and the video would go to that exact point in the lecture. Then, even more so, how could that be used in business applications?
How could I take that searchable aspect of videos or, at least what was potentially possible in searching videos, (since there wasn’t that capacity as I was thinking this through) and translate it into a service for B2B, as well as consumer-based businesses?
The “convenience” of an online course that is masked in what is basically a telecourse, like what we had 10, 20, 30 years ago. Is it convenient to have more than 20 hours of video lectures to slog through, and have to take copious notes to record when a professor mentioned “gross margin calculations?” What’s so convenient about that – really?
The same thing that my son was experiencing, we all experience. Take the average YouTube how-to video, for example. Statistics show that within the first minute of a video, 40 percent of the audience moves on. After two to three minutes, the vast majority of the audience is gone. Why? Because they want a specific question answered. A specific problem solved. A particular interest piqued. And, if you don’t deliver within one minute – two minutes – three minutes…they’re gone.
What if you could take the convenience factor and turn it upside down and inside out? What if you could take your potential buyer directly to the exact point in that video where they get what they need? First, they stay with you. They’ll stay on your page. They’ll know that you’re a resource, and they’ll also know they don’t have to slog through a 12-minute video when they can get what they need to know – instantly.
Because, after all, that’s what the convenience economy is all about. We measure things by whether or not they’re convenient. We make decisions based on convenience; where we bank, how we shop, where we go to eat, where we vacation. We are constantly pursuing convenience to make our lives easier.
Statistics show that within the first minute of a video, 40 percent of the audience moves on. After two to three minutes, the vast majority of the audience is gone.
DON’T PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.
Omedym is about helping B2B businesses do this–and this book is a guide, of sorts, on how you can do this for your own business. How can you garner the sheer force and velocity of how quickly the convenience economy is growing?
Uber. Hello Fresh. Airbnb. Netflix. Businesses that didn’t seem possible just fifteen to twenty years ago have pushed our quest for convenience even further. What can you do to nestle your business within this new economy–this seismic shift that we are seeing? And, don’t put your head in the sand.
This is not just a millennial thing–this isn’t limited to kids who are the age of my boys. My 90-year-old father uses his phone for EVERYTHING–Uber, banking, a million apps for daily productivity. This notion of convenience economy, and targeting your audience, is not just a small niche–virtually everyone is tapping into and taking advantage of this, pardon the “product placement,” uber trend.
How can you make it easy for your customers to engage with you? It’s not just about searchable videos–it’s about all your systems, all your products or services. How can you smooth out any friction or difficulty that a potential client might have in engaging with you: be it buying, upgrading, renewing, or using the solution, WITHOUT calling support.
FRICTION = FRUSTRATION = COST
If you can’t accommodate the wave of the convenience economy, it becomes expensive for you. Why? If you throw obstacles, or things that are perceived as obstacles, in your customer’s way–you create friction. That customer then becomes frustrated. And, it costs you–in wasted time, effort and money. They’ll walk away–because, I guarantee, there’s another company out there, offering basically what you are, and they’re looking at this, and making things easier for their clients. They’re very happy to take your client away from you.
How are you going to prepare for this convenience economy? It’s not going away. It will continue to grow and expand, and anyone (any business) that isn’t prepared will bite the dust. Think about how we get news and information. We want to watch it, not read it. We prefer self-service–most of us like the self-checkout because we don’t want to deal with a “sales” person. For better or worse, it’s where we’re headed, as a whole, in our economy. How many times have you gone into a store, and a sales representative asks if you need anything? You politely respond, “No, thanks – I’m just looking.”
The self-serve instinct in us will dictate that if we need anything, we’ll ask. So, in the meantime, “don’t bother me.”
Consumers are becoming more and more independent. But that doesn’t mean they want to be left hanging. They want support. They want the customer-to-business relationship. But they just want it fast. Online. Instant. On-demand. They want it to be convenient.
In this book, we’ll go through everything you need to know to start integrating this kind of abstract idea (I know) into every system of your business. From how the convenience economy is impacting B2B organizations to determining if your business has what I call a “watchability” factor that works in your favor. We’ll take a look at some real-life examples of how businesses have transformed themselves, or not, in this convenience economy age. And, you’ll hear me say it over and over, the importance of watchable assets.
So, let’s dive in and dissect this notion of the service-based convenience economy, and what it means to you and your business. Let’s make your business great!