I have this pet peeve: the security packaging on CDs - I find it totally annoying.
The reason they do it is obvious - to prevent theft. However, why not just enclose the CD in one of those theft prevention devices that they remove at the register? I can't imagine that people can steal something they can't open, right? The plastic wrap and security tape don't stop someone from stealing a CD, it just slows them down a bit. A handy pocket knife could have that stuff off in a matter of seconds (I'm sure thieves don't care if they slightly damage the case, right?).
However, I think it is a great reminder of how NOT to treat the people buying your product - remove all barriers to using/enjoying your product or service.
If you consider how few people are probably stealing CD's (less than 1% of the CD buying public? does anyone know?), that means that a vast majority of us have to spend time removing that crappy packaging and security tape before we can enjoy our music... using a knife or something for quick removal of the packaging isn't really an option if you care about the case.
We had a "put the burden on the customer" experience yesterday with the credit card machine my wife uses for her business. She changed the deposit bank account for credit card transactions after 7 years of doing business with this company, nothing more. This change required, in order:
- A call to the merchant service
- Completion of a 5 page document
- An inspection of the business by the merchant service - they actually sent someone to investigate.
- Finally, and this really blew me away, another phone call to the merchant service to reprogram the credit card machine. We actually spent 90 minutes in the salon yesterday on the phone with terminal support reprogramming the credit card terminal. Sure, she could have had a technician come and do this, but the fastest option was doing it herself over the phone.
Recall that she did nothing but want the funds from the credit card transactions to go into account 'b' instead of account 'a'.
I was blown away by this. To make matters worse, the first attempt at updating the terminal failed. After a 40 minute 'download', we got an error message that indicated that there was not enough memory for the new version to run. So, another call to terminal support, another download and another 30 minutes and all was good... to change account numbers.
I can understand the need for fraud prevention, surely, however this was just ridiculous. I can only imagine what this whole experience cost both parties involved (my wife and the merchant service).
This raises a simple question that I think every company should ask themselves: what are the pain points of dealing with us?
It is simply a matter of friction: the more you introduce, the more more you frustrate people.
So, what do you think? Do you have examples of companies that have introduced friction? Better yet, do you have an example of a company that has removed friction?