Are You Snaring Your Customers in a “Newbury Loop”?

My Sat-Nav has been hacked.

I’m not saying it’s the Russians. But someone…I don’t know who…has got inside it. Taken control.

And they’re sending me on an epic tour of all the wrong places. Down cul-de-sacs. Round ring roads. Forever doubling back. And never letting me find the way home.

It. Is. Driving. Me. Nuts!

Of course, I don’t know it’s a hacker. Maybe the machine’s getting old and losing its marbles. I couldn’t say.

But if pressed, I’ve got a theory. I reckon –

The hacker is funded by a group of business owners…in Newbury.

I’m not crazy.

See, on Tuesday, the Sat-Nav sent me round Newbury seven times. Looping the town centre, and hiding all signs to the M4. Presumably, they were hoping I’d pull over to refuel. And stoke their economy with an impulse bag of Monster Munch.

Makes sense to me.

But – it didn’t work. I foiled their plot. By ignoring the Sat-Nav, and finding my own way out of town.

I’m home now.

But you know what? When you’re stuck, wondering if you’ll ever see your loved ones again, you get to thinking. And I wondered:

Are you snaring your customers in a Newbury Loop?

Think about it.

How many times has a website sent you round in a circle?

<Click here to buy>

“I’ve just been there, it sent me here”

<Find out more>

“No, that’s your home page!”

That’s a Newbury Loop – where you get trapped in a perpetual cycle. No hope of escape.

It’s a problem with a lot of websites – especially e-commerce. But that’s nothing compared with the worst offender:

The call management system!

Last week, trying to pay for parking in London, I spent 40 minutes getting dumped out and sent to the wrong queue every time I pressed #1 for service…then passed back and fore between two call centres, because they used different software.

Round and round. Trapped in stasis.

That’s a Newbury Loop.

It’s the pesky moment that leaves you all out of options. And turns mild irritation to anger. Turns Banner into Hulk.

It’s there in every business. Yours too – and it costs you sales.

So here’s a mission for you – go find your Newbury Loops!

Check your copy. Processes. The whole user experience. Find the glitches that leave your paying customers stuck in No-Man’s Land.

I promise you, the loops are there. So find them. Kill them. NOW!

BTW…I haven’t gone off script here. This is a marketing thing.

Every interaction you have with a customer is going to change their impression – adding a plus or minus to that scorecard they keep in their heads. So how they buy from you, how they deal with you, it’s all marketing…all impacting on the next sale, whether it comes today or next year.

Summat to chew on, as you close down the loops.

Oh, and…if you ever go to Newbury – best take an A-Z.

Meet the Author

James Daniel

You might not know who James is...but you've probably read his copy. Through high street clients like Hidden Hearing, or big gun marketers like Jonathan Jay and Chris Cardell. His words are out there, pulling in new business every month. What else? Well his books, Do You Talk Like That at Home? and Direct Mail 101 will help you squeeze out more sales. Oh yeah - and his next book Before You JFDI will help you plan your next campaign. Get on the list for a free advance copy here.

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