There is a really interesting post on Creating Passionate Users about how reducing fear is the killer app. The author of the post, Kathy Sierra, talks about how she would drive "100 miles" to get to her dentist because of the effort he and his staff put into easing his patients’ fears about going for check-ups.
I often procrastinate about doing something I know I should do or will benefit me in the end if I am apprehensive about it. Fear tends to override our notions of what we should do with a strong desire not to do it. Consider how this could impact on your business if your customers fear you or your business. That fear could come from a working environment that is intimidating. It could also be the result of a new product or service that would require uncomfortable change on your customer’s part.
It is worth taking a good look at what you are doing and how you are doing it and consider whether your customers may be apprehensive about it or even fearful of it and then do what you can to alleviate that fear. If you can take fear out of the equation then your customers will be more inclined to use your new product/service or just do business with you. The changes could be as simple as better lighting in your offices and comforting smells of brewed coffee (or, in the case of a hospital Kathy mentions, popcorn). If your customers find your products or services too complex or foreign relative to what they are accustomed to then perhaps change the packaging or publish a brochure to explain the new product or service (better yet, create a friendly tutorial on your site and tell your clients about it). The big idea is to identify those areas where your products, services or general facade inspires fear in your customers and take active steps to alleviate or eliminate that fear.