At every point of interaction with your business, it should be easy (a pleasure, even) for customers to buy your products or services. But it amazes me how many businesses make it difficult for people to spend money with them.

As we’re about to move house, I’ve been checking out gyms to see if I can get a better deal and more convenient location than the gym I use now.

I knew there was a 24 hour gym quite close by, so I visited their website to do some research and see if it would suit my needs.

It was not easy to find the information.

There was no outline of the facilities. No explanation of the equipment available. There were some photos, so I guess I could make assumptions, but nothing was terribly clear.

And, of course, there was no mention of pricing anywhere on the website. Now, I understand there are different schools of thought as to whether you should include your pricing on your website, but as a customer wouldn’t life be easier if you could get all the relevant information up front?

So I sent an email through the website Contact Form asking for pricing information. I received a reply the next day, but it went like this:

Hi Kym

Please come into the gym to discuss membership fees etc.

Kind regards

Well, no, actually. You see, I’m busy, and I really just want some simple information. I do not want to make a special trip to the gym. I do not want to get caught up in the long-winded sales process that so many gyms seem to enforce. I just want to know how much it would cost for me to join this gym at some point in the near future.

After another email back to the Club Manager, I finally received a reply that outlined the prices. So now I can make my decision as to whether I want to become that business’ customer. But I found the process annoying, cumbersome, frustrating. By the time I got the basic information I was after, the experience was not a positive one.

So how easy is it for your potential customers to do business with you? Do you freely share information on your website that can help them make a quick decision? Is it easy for them to contact you if they have extra questions?

Is it a positive experience at every stage – from research to enquiry to the first transaction? And if not, how easy would it be for you to make changes to make it more positive?

ACTION: Look at your website and online presence through the eyes of a potential new customer. Are the most common questions answered on your website? Are there improvements you could make? Could you make the experience of interacting with you a pleasure, rather than a chore? (If you find it hard to distance yourself and take the point of view of your customers, ask an honest friend to give you some feedback).