Ever notice that tech at home seems at minimum to help you get what you need, and it can be enjoyable. What about tech at work? Big forms, disconnected systems etc. Not much innovation there.

I wanted to share a blog by John Rossman.  John was a senior executive at a firm that has in many ways become the standard for reducing digital friction to innovate. The firm is called Amazon and John actually wrote a fantastic book called “The Amazon Way” and he has a digital newsletter called “The Digital Leader” that in my opinion is like a weekly business coaching call for your business.

First, let us talk about what John says about Digital Friction. How critical reducing it is and how to start addressing it. Second, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to John’s newsletter. I look forward to each one and find it incredibly insightful.


What is Digital Friction Anyway?

John says that “Friction is the unfinished work we ask our customers and employees to deal with”. John cites examples like – entering addresses, a complex website, big forms that no customer or employee could get value from.

I am a CRM guy. I can think of a ton of examples where we give people too much information in the name of the proverbial 360-degree view. Sometimes people do not need a 360-degree view of the customer. They might just need contextual insights to help them get what they need, to make it easy and enjoyable – to meet the need to that interaction.


What Have We Learned About Friction?

Solving for digital friction is not just a John has a series of posts about innovation and customer centricity. Innovation and customer centricity are the hallmarks of some greatest brands with the most loyal followers – hence most profitable firms. In a fascinating insight he shares that driving innovation and customer centricity can start with solving for digital friction. Even more compelling, the journey can start with a two-word question.


Start with a Two Word Question

“What sucks”?

That’s it.  That’s the question. That’s the question that can identify digital friction points. That’s the question that can unlock innovation at your firm.  Next, John says to “Study what your customers are telling you about friction through customer calls, complaints, and questions. Understand the root cause and tackle the root cause. Create a prioritized list of friction points, prioritize by “impact to the customer” versus “level of effort to eliminate the friction.” Tackle the “high impact, lower effort” friction points early.

I hope you will take a moment to check out Johns Newsletter and subscribe you like it. Next week we will be talking about complementary approach to innovation.

Wishing you great success.