Pain points: A Moving Story
Pain points. They’re the first step of any business. You identify a need that isn’t being answered, something annoys you and you think you can do it better. Now, it's important to make sure that you’re not alone in believing this, but it’s the gist of it.
A guy was pissed off that razors are so expensive, and he forgot to buy new razor heads all the time. Dollar Shave Club was born.
A couple people realized that the taxi industry was an antiquated behemoth that could be a lot more user-friendly. Uber and Lyft were created.
It’s been like that since the beginning of times too. We started building cars because it was inconvenient that we had to let horses rest every couple of hours.
Good Pain Points
I’m planning my move back to my native Montreal at the end of the month, so I’ve been getting a bunch of quotes from a variety of moving companies.
I got my first one(by a very big company) and this statement caught my eye: “Our calculation is unique - instead of going by hourly rates - we go by weight based on a 1 bedroom dwelling.”
I remember thinking that was pretty cool, I waited for the other quotes, but that made a good first impression on me. It made me feel like they had my interest any heart, that they wanted to save me money and time with this process.
But after a few more quotes, I still wasn’t sure who to go with, but I knew for sure I didn’t want to go with the first one.
Why? Because after receiving 5-6 quotes, I realized that this pricing by weight thing was in no way exclusive to the first company, it’s literally how ALL long distance moving works.
That pissed me off a little bit. Either they were trying to trick me, thinking I wouldn’t research or realize that, or they’re not doing their homework.
The company that won my business in the end? The one that offered me 30 days of free storage for my possessions. They understood a real pain point, the fact that finding an apartment from another city is darn near impossible, and often time, people move to the city without a place, planning to find something in the first few weeks.
Now, this is also a fairly common practice, but at least they didn’t try to make me feel like they were the only ones doing this. The standard time is 2 weeks, and I liked the perceived value of the 30 day offering. They also happened to have the most detailed breakdown of their costs. That made me feel safe, and that I had more information to make a decision.
Don’t Lie To Your Customers
The lesson in the end? I can’t believe I’m saying this by the way, this company is a brand you’ve heard of before, you’ve seen their logo, they’re big, but DON’T LIE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. Why is that even a risk you think is worth considering? I just don’t get it. This little trick might work and convince people every once in a while, but it’s not sustainable. It would’ve made me feel pretty gross too if I signed with the first company, only to realize this after I gave them a non-refundable deposit.
Okay, the lesson is a little more complicated than that:
Be honest. This should be easy if you’ve done research and actually understand what your customers are looking for. Don’t try to be flashy, just explain your service in the clearest possible way, and explain how it will make their lives easier.
Be authentic. Talk to your customers as you would to your family. Use words they’ll understand, and never assume they’ll know the jargon. Every word you say to them should aim to make them more comfortable.
Act on the pain points. It’s one thing to acknowledge pain points in the copy, it’s another one entirely to provide value around them. That’s the difference between saying “We understand that moving is stressful, that’s why we offer a simple and streamlined process” and “Moving is stressful and full of unforeseen delays, that’s why we offer you 30 days of free storage for your belongings. Just let us know when YOU are ready for us to deliver”. The first one is nice to hear, the second one is something that makes me feel like the company really gets me.
Never underestimate the power and ROI potential of properly identified pain points. This matters for movers just as much as it matters for a high tech startup. The next step is to never rest on your laurels, pain points change ALL THE TIME. Your product or service will evolve too, and you need to keep in mind that your voice should follow that evolution.
But really though, just don’t lie okay?