A successful business is one that provides a desired product or service to its customers. The keyword is “desired”.Your business will never succeed if it offers something that people don’t really want. Have you ever wondered why no one is selling a solar-powered laptop? Because nobody wants it. (but seriously someone made a solar-powered laptop) However, discovering what your customers want is easier said than done.
It’s hard to figure out what customers want because they themselves don’t know what they want. Confusing? It sure is. Every customer wants something. But this desire is hidden deep inside them. It’s your job to dig deep and free this desire then provide the product or service that curbs this desire.
Look at the iphone. Deep down inside we all wanted touch screen phones but we weren’t aware of it. None of us were clamoring for Nokia, Samsung, or Sony to make touch screen phones. That was until Steve Jobs presented the original iphone. Then we realized we want this product. That became the cue for businesses to start manufacturing touch screen phones.
You can’t acquire the business acumen of a Steve Jobs in minutes but you can increase your knowledge about your customers in that time span. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about your customers.
Customers don’t always go for the cheapest
Not all the time at least. Sure, customers won’t say no to a good deal but they won’t waste their money on crappy things either. Customers want quality period. As long as they’re guaranteed quality, they won’t mind spending more.
Will you buy a mobile phone that is $20 from a no-name brand, no warranty, and no refunds? Or would you prefer a $300 mobile phone from a reputable brand, life-time warranty, and full refund? Assuming you’re a smart shopper, you would purchase the $300 mobile phone. Even when it’s much more expensive.
Remember the term “quality” doesn’t depend on manufacturing quality alone. You can achieve a level of quality by offering more than your lower priced competition. Offer warranties, customer support, tie-ins, and other things that give customers more bang for their buck.
Customers are warm to cold-calls (pun intended)
The right kind of cold-calling to be exact. Although it’s true that an unsolicited call from a salesperson is annoying. It’s only annoying because the salesperson is selling a product they don’t want. That’s it. They’re not annoyed because the call is unsolicited, or that the salesperson can’t take no for an answer, it’s because you’re selling them a product they don’t want. And who wouldn’t find that annoying?
Use cold calls to sell a specific product instead of a general product. Do some homework and learn more about the customer before calling them. Then present a product that is suited to their needs and interests. Customize each call for every customer. Never use a one-size-fits-all approach to cold-calling.
There are 3 more things that you never knew about your customers. Just click the link to continue.
Customers are willing to part with personal information
If and only if you guarantee to use the information as advertised and that you safeguard their privacy. There are 3 reasons why people cry “invasion of privacy”. First reason, is when you do it without their consent. At the very least, you should inform your customers before you start collecting data. Don’t do it secretly (like the Snowden incident) and don’t forget to give them the option of refusing. It should never be mandatory to part with private information.
Second reason, is when you misuse their private data. For example, you sell their buying habits to advertisers instead of customizing their shopping experience like you promised. You basically lied to them. And no one likes a liar. Final reason, is when their private data are compromised and falls into the wrong hands. They trusted you with sensitive information and you betrayed their trust.
Customers don’t mind revealing personal information as long as it will benefit them. Think of it as a give and take relationship.
Customers hate it when there’s no change
Tell me what would you do in the following scenario: An angry customer calls your customer support to complain how her microwave broke after one use. Your support team does a great job of calming her down, issuing a sincere apology, and sending a replacement microwave free-of-charge. The customer is satisfied with the outcome and the call ends. A) Will you congratulate your employees for a job well done? B) Will you be disappointed on how they handled the situation?
The correct answer is letter B). You should have been disappointed on how the situation was handled. To be fair, it’s not your employees’ fault. It’s your fault alone. When a customer complains about something, they want a permanent solution. Not a temporary one. They want to see the problem disappear forever. Never to reappear again.
Sending a replacement microwave to the customer is merely a temporary solution. You never figured out why the microwave broke in the first place. What if your microwave’s design was broken from the start? Or the parts you use are of cheap quality? That means the replacement microwave will break again, the customer will get mad again, and you will hear from her again. That’s a lot of again.
Remember customers are sometimes your QA team. They’ll tell you if they find imperfections with your products and services. And they’re telling you so you can fix it. Permanently.
Customers want to be part of your business
Businesses that look down on customers as nothing but mere cash cows usually go bankrupt pretty quickly. These businesses are arrogant and elitists, thinking they know better than the customer. Well they don’t. No business does.
Customers are more than consumers. They’re partners. They’re part of your business as much as your product or service is a part of their lives. Customers are more than willing to help your business if you let them. So have an open-door policy and let the customers in.