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Newsletter: #968: The “Get Over the Last Hurdle” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Even if you have an amazing product and a seamless customer experience, your customers can still run into a snag that keeps them from buying your stuff. Most of the time you can’t help these obstacles — but sometimes you can.

Here are some ways you can do it:

1. Help them make room
2. Help them make a decision
3. Help give them peace of mind
4. Check it out: Selfless Portraits

1. Help them make room

Photo thanks to The Denver Egotist.

Photo thanks to The Denver Egotist.

IKEA knows that one of the biggest reasons people don’t buy new furniture is the hassle of getting rid of their old furniture. So the company offered to sell it for them. For their Second Hand campaign, IKEA featured their customers’ actual names, numbers, and old furniture in their ads. Then, they opened their Facebook page for other customers to sell their stuff online in a “virtual flea market” on Sundays.

The lesson: That’s doing much more than just making room for a new couch — it’s creating an amazing customer service story for everyone who sells something through IKEA.

Learn more: The Denver Egotist

2. Help them make a decision

Photo thanks to Google Maps.

Photo thanks to Google Maps.

It’s a pain to exchange a treadmill. So when you buy one, you want to make sure it’s exactly what you want. At Fitness in Motion in Austin, they don’t think the couple minutes you typically spend testing out a machine at other stores is enough to help you make a decision. So they tell potential customers to use their store like a gym: Come by whenever, do their normal workout, and find the machine that works for them before they buy it.

The lesson: This helps customers feel better about their purchase. But more importantly, it gives Fitness in Motion a chance to build relationships and trust with the customers coming in day after day.

3. Help give them peace of mind

If you’ve ever bought a prom dress (disclosure: I’ve bought zero) you know that showing up to prom with the same dress as someone else is a big fear. At some formal wear shops, they help girls avoid this high school nightmare by asking each customer which event they’re wearing the dress to and checking their database for repeats. That way, their customers can be much more confident about pulling the trigger and buying the dress.

The lesson: You already keep a lot of data about your customers for market research, product development, and ordering — why not use it to help them too?

4. Check it out: Selfless Portraits

Photo thanks to Selfless Portraits.

Photo thanks to Selfless Portraits.

This collaborative art project encourages complete strangers to draw someone else’s portrait and submit their own photo to be drawn by a stranger. You can even order prints and tell the artist thanks via Facebook.

Check it out: Selfless Portraits

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