Here's What All Customers Want
Let's take a look at what all customers want and how you can make sure you're the one giving it to them...
It doesn't matter what the product or service is, as consumers we all want the same thing.
We want to feel like we made the right decision about what we bought. We want to feel like we bought the right product, at the right price, at the right terms, from the right business.
So, how do buyers know they have made the right decision?
By being informed consumers of course! And today, it's pretty easy for consumers to be informed if they want to look. Just about anything you want to know can be found by reading the right magazines, talking to the right people or by browsing the internet. It's a pretty good bet that if you want to spend the time looking, you will find more information than you can practically deal with, on any subject that you care to think about. But all this available information can often be overwhelming.
You may be wondering how all this helps us as business owners sell more products.
If your business is the one who provides the information (education) to the buyer, helping them become better informed and making it easy at the same time, you'll gain their respect and their trust. This will lead to an increased share of business.
In your marketing, you should be providing key decision making information about your product and your company so that consumers don't have to go elsewhere to find it. If they go elsewhere to become informed, they likely go elsewhere to buy. So you want to make it as easy as possible for your prospects to become informed!
What are the differentiators that you have to offer? What are the pitfalls of buying your product or service, what are the tips that will help consumers get the best out of their purchase?
Several things happen when you do this. First of all, you instantly become the expert. Whenever we see articles, presentations or reports about anything, we automatically assume that the person providing the information is an expert until proven differently. So by providing expert information, you can gain instant credibility with your target market.
Secondly, you are making it easier for your customers to buy. This is a key ingredient to making them want to buy from you! By giving them all the information they require to feel good about their purchasing decision, they will tend to want to continue dealing with you.
Another key advantage of providing consumers with the education they need to buy your product or service is that you begin a relationship with them much earlier in the sales cycle than if you are simply providing a product when they are ready to buy.
Let's say you provide a short ad in the paper offering a free report on why it is important to regularly have your furnace serviced and the trouble one can avoid through regular maintenance. Now, I as a homeowner may not be ready to buy your service, but I may be interested enough to order your report because I think I should be informed on this issue. I get the report and learn some interesting facts, making a mental note to get my furnace serviced before the winter arrives.
Some months later, when the winter is approaching I decide to get the service performed. Who do you think I call? I will obviously call you because you are the person who made the effort to educate me. You caught my attention before I was ready to buy, and when I was ready to go, you were the one I thought of and spent my money with.
There are many ways to provide valuable information to your target market to help them move along the buying cycle.
Look for our next article in this series for thoughts on how to develop your relationship with suspects and prospects. In doing so, you'll convert more of them to customers.
You may want to let customers know that the product is just about to come off warranty and offer to check the product for them. At this point of contact, it may be an opportunity to offer some type of special up selling offer for an extended warranty or maintenance agreement - an added value in your customer servicing.
Deliver your product with an unexpected gift or do something that is completely unexpected by the customer. This is the most fun and can be the most effective in customer service. Give people the unexpected and they will be pleasantly surprised. It doesn't need to be elaborate - it is the unexpected that will create the positive relationship benefit.
A great book to read about the impact of customer service is "What Clients Love - A Field Guide to Growing Your Business" by Harry Beckwith. It is a book about taking customer servicing to another level and it provides great insight into what customers experience and expect, and what to do about it. It also indicates that you need to keep innovating as customers will always expect you to get better.
Make sure you identify your "moments of truth" in customer service. What are the times when it really counts to impress with your customer service? Every time you meet or have contact!