There are so many ways to make things easy for customers. Here's one I encountered today: integrating travel arrangements into your Outlook calendar.
Quite apart from the simple reservation process, and the opportunity to ask for extra towels in advance, there were a couple of things that were really nice.
First -- a nicely formatted form to print that didn't produce a bunch of extra pages of gobble-de-gook.
Second -- easy function to e-mail to others.
Third -- one click upload to my Outlook calendar. That one was a WOW.
We are starting to expect these things from travel oriented services. But surely they are more widely applicable. Here's a couple of ideas.
Anytime I make a booking or complete a transaction, give me a nice statement
For example, a nicely formatted confirmation would be great to have for many financial transactions, from transfers between accounts to tax payments. For a business account, this sort of thing should be a given, but it isn't. For the most part, you have to print what's on the screen using your browser, which doesn't necessarily give you a complete summary of the transaction and the confirmation code in one easy-to-record document.
Easy e-mail function for the statement or confirmation
Second, the easy e-mail function. Having now put a simple summary page in place, let me e-mail it. I find I am quite often faced with sending a link to a page. And we've all been faced with getting an e-mail that is unintelligible, or a link that we can't use, sent by someone who wanted us to have this information about an event, an order, a whatever.
This functionality should be far more ubiquitous than it is now.
Easy upload to calendars or other personal management software
So many things in our lives are part of a schedule. We've got a lot of electronic devices set up to help us manage these schedules, deadlines and dates.
Why should I have to remember when my term deposit comes due -- why can't I have an upload option?
For that matter, why can't the tax-man let me upload key due dates for me or my business into my calendar?
What about a reminder that a delayed shipment is due for a book on back-order?
I don't want all of this stuff in an e-mail -- more often, it would be nice to have the option to put the dates or details into my electronic calendar.
Depending on your market segment, you might need to consider platforms other than Outlook. I've seen lots of evidence of teens managing their calendars on their cell-phones. And they are a forgetful bunch, they need at least as much help as I do to remember important dates and deadlines.