How Do You Make Your Customer Feel?

How Do You Make Your Customer Feel?

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured, Improvement

motivatedOn Friday, November 3, the iPhone X became available in stores. As with most iPhone releases, people lined up to get one. Reporters covering the event talked to the first person to get one. He didn’t talk about the technology or the price. What he couldn’t stop talking about was how Apple made him feel. Everything he talked about was about the experience, not the product.

Creating an experience is key to customer loyalty. When your competition is only a mouse click away, that experience keeps a customer coming back. It’s about how the customer is treated, what they see, hear, smell and feel (if you’re running a restaurant it’s also about taste). An all encompassing experience is what gets people to come to your location or event. It’s about the impression you give before the sale and the customer service after the sale.

Think about the complete experience your customer has. It goes well beyond the sale and will bring them back for more.

To see how The Modern Observer Group can help you create a customer experience, contact us here.

Go Beyond Demographics

Go Beyond Demographics

Customer, Featured, Improvement

psychographicsIt’s important to know who your customers are. When you ask most business people about their customers, they respond by giving you the demographics of their audience. It’s good to have demographic informations such as age, gender, income, and geographic location. However, demographics can be misleading. Political analysts will tell you that according to the demographics of the country, Hillary should have won the presidency. The problem is demographics just skim the surface. What you need to understand your customers are psychographics.

Psychographic information includes habits, hobbies, spending patterns and values. Demographics explain “who” your customer is, while psychographics explain “why” they buy. Knowing the psychographics of your customers enable you to create real connections with them.

To gather psychographics you must have real conversations with your customers. Get to know them and ask them about themselves. The more you understand why they do what they do, the better you can help them.

Demographics are the tip of the iceberg. For lasting business relationships, you need to go deeper.

To find out how The Modern Observer Group can help you connect with your customers, contact us here.

Why You Should Want To Put Yourself Out Of Business

Why You Should Want To Put Yourself Out Of Business

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

It may be one of the strangest concepts a business person can encounter, but to be truly successful your goal should be to put yourself;f out of business. I can hear you saying, “Why would I ever want that?” It comes down to the core reason any business exists: to solve a problem.

You are in business to solve a problem. If you’re not solving a problem, why would anyone do business with you? However, if you take the concept of problem solving to its logical conclusion, if you can solve that problem for everyone you will no longer be in business. Can you run a profitable business without solving the problem? Of course. That’s the basic business model for most pharmaceutical companies. They don’t cure the disease, they treat it so you have to keep treating it. There is nothing wrong with treating a problem rather than solving it, but which would your customer rather have?

The fact is if you solve a problem, it is unlikely that you will reach the point where you solve it for everyone. When you solve a problem, your customers will bring you more people with that problem, expanding your customer base. They are also more likely to come to you with new problems, giving you new target markets and potential products or services. Your business will be able to adapt to new circumstances to become a new company. When telegrams were no longer necessary, Western Union was able to use the same systems to transfer money.

So aim to put yourself out of business. Your customers will reward you for it.

Why You Need A Customer Retention Plan

Why You Need A Customer Retention Plan

Customer, Featured, Improvement

customersMost businesses are very focused on bringing in new business. Once they get the business, they lose that focus. We’ve all had bad customer experiences, when a company doesn’t seem to want to solve your problem. No matter how well you sell, no matter how great your product or service is, you need to have a process to keep your customers coming back.

Here are six reasons that you need to focus on customer retention.

  1. Existing Customers Are More Profitable: Researchers have repeatedly conducted studies to determine the expense of gaining new clients versus the expense of retaining one.  These studies have proven that it can be up to five times more expensive to win over a prospect than it is to keep an existing client.  Furthermore, existing clients are far more likely to increase their business with you by taking advantage of additional products or services.
  2. Satisfied, Loyal Customers Refer Other Business To You: Satisfied customers can contribute to your sales efforts through their recommendations.  In essence, they become a referral source.  Satisfied, loyal customers make particularly useful referral sources because they are able to provide a first-hand testimonial when recommending you to someone they know who could benefit from your business.
  3. Service Is More Memorable Than Products Or Prices: Price doesn’t have as much sway in the sales world as it once did.  That isn’t to say that price doesn’t matter, or that customers aren’t drawn to lower prices, just that they just rank customer service higher than price or product these days.  Most people are willing to pay a little more for a product or service if it means having an amiable relationship with a business.
  4.  They Will Take Their Business Elsewhere: Customers, by and large, are non-confrontational.  Most will not outright voice their complaints.  Instead, they will simply take their business to your competition.  Don’t assume your customers are completely satisfied if they are not complaining — remember, they vote with their pocketbook.
  5. Satisfied Customers Are Loyal Customers: A customer’s loyalty to your business directly relates to your customer service.  The better you treat your customers — that is, the stronger and more exceptional your customer service is — the more satisfied they will be.  And the more satisfied they are, the more loyal they become.
  6. Existing Customers Provide Better Metrics: One of the most effective ways to improve your business is through your existing customer base — by taking advantage of customer satisfaction surveys.  We recommend doing both an e-mail survey and a snail mail survey once a year, 6 months apart.

Customer satisfaction doesn’t just happen. You need to focus on it and create a process to ensure that customers keep coming back.  However, you need to make sure that you don’t make the one mistake that most customer service plans make.

Don’t Use A One-Level System: Most companies use a one-level system for customer service. What does that mean? It means the person directly in front of you is very happy with you. But what about the people waiting on line behind that person. Are they happy or have you spent so much time on the person in front of you that they have become aggravated, or worse, have they left altogether.   The process you use needs to keep in mind that you have more than one customer (at least I hope you have more than one customer). Create a process that treats all your customers well, whether they’re in front of you or not

Are You Where Your Customers Are?

Are You Where Your Customers Are?

Customer, Featured

Being accessible to your customers seems like it should be a no-brainer. After all, you want your customers to buy from you, so why wouldn’t you make it easy for your people to use you. Even established companies make decisions that make life more difficult for them than it needs to be.

For example, when the Atlanta Falcons unveiled their new stadium, it was obvious that someone had to feed the millions of football fans that would attend the games. However, one of those vendors is Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. Fans of both football and Chick-fil-A will already see a problem. The Falcons, like every other NFL team, play the vast majority of their games on Sunday. Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday (and the chain has announced that the location in the stadium will be closed on Sunday).

Why would you close a store when most of your customers will be there? It sounds ridiculous but many businesses do just that by not having a website or not being active on social media. Your clients are online. Your customers are on their smartphones. Are you there so you can find them? Nearly 50% of small businesses in the United States don’t have a website. How many customers do you think that costs? Make sure that you have a presence where your customers are and that you’re open for business when they get there.

For more information about how the Modern Observer Group can get you in front of potential customers, contact us here.

Stay Away From The Race To The Bottom

Stay Away From The Race To The Bottom

Customer, Featured, Planning

It can happen in any industry. One company decides to lower their prices. Then another decides to match or beat them. Then a third. Before you know it, the companies are locked in a race to the bottom to see who can offer the lowest price. By lowering the price, the company hopes to bring in new customers. There are several problems with this theory though.

  • Customer loyalty: Customers that jump on to the lowest are not loyal customers. Studies with coupons have shown that customers whose main focus is price will jump to another product if that price is lower. Customers that are drawn in by low prices are difficult and expensive to keep.
  • Quality: There is only so much you can cut prices before it affects the quality of your product or service. That loss in quality will chase away your existing customers, even as the price brings in new ones.
  • It’s tough to climb back up: Once customers get used to paying a lower or discounted price it becomes difficult to get them to pay higher prices for the same product or service. Walmart found this out when they tried to raise prices. They faced an exodus of customers who went elsewhere in search of lower prices.

Stay out of the race to the bottom. Compete on quality or compete on results. Competing on price is a minefield.

Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

motivatedRoutines have good and bad results. The good is that they provide consistency. The bad is that they can sap your motivation. Doing the same thing over and over can be mind numbing. How can you stay motivated?

One way is to focus on your customer. We all want to know that what we do matters. Remembering that what you do affects and helps people can boost your motivation. Creating a concrete picture of your impact can be self-affirming as well as motivational. Studies have shown that cooks feel more motivated and work harder when they see people eating their food, for example. Even if the results of your work aren’t tangible, thinking about specific names and stories of those who benefit from your efforts can offer a window into the good that you are doing.

Go beyond what you do and look at what effects your work has. Look at what your customer is ultimately getting. Your work allows them to improve their work. That allows them to make a better living and improve their life. Your product keeps your customer safe. Your work alleviates a problem that held your customer back. Whatever it is, the key is to make a direct connection from your work to those who benefit.

To learn how a Modern Observer coach can help you, use the contact form here

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

In the world of big data, everyone’s information is being collected, analyzed, and acted upon. So if all of this data is being used, why don’t things happen the way they are predicted? The answer comes down to one fact: human behavior is not data driven.

People act and react emotionally. Buying patterns are emotionally driven. People will research and use data to choose what to buy or, more often, to justify their purchases, but the decision of what and when to buy are emotional at their core. To build rapport with your customers, you must connect with them on an emotional level.

Research shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. That means appealing to any of dozens of “emotional motivators” such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.

Decide how you can best connect on an emotional level and put that at the core of every interaction you have with your customer.

You’re Working For Your Customer

You’re Working For Your Customer

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

awardsIt may seem obvious that you should be working for your customer, but it seems to be a fact that eludes many people. Very often I hear the comment that people are working to impress their peers. While this seems to be most prevalent in design, marketing, and programming, it does appear in all industries.

While peer recognition is gratifying, it won’t keep you in business. Your bottom line depends on solving your customers problems, not impressing your peers.Here are three things to keep in mind when moving forward on a project:

  • The Customer Has A Problem: A customer comes to you because they are unsatisfied. They have a problem  and want it solved. They may not be able to articulate what the exact problem is, but they know it exists.
  • Your Customer Is Relying On You: They have come to you for a solution. They don’t care what programming language you use or what method you use as long as you solve the problem.
  • Your Customer Is Your Boss: This is not the same as ‘the customer is always right.’ They are paying for a service that solves their problem. They are the reason you are in business and they are keeping you in business.
Make Decisions Simpler for Your Customers

Make Decisions Simpler for Your Customers

Customer, Featured, Improvement

choiceWhen asked, consumers almost always say they want more options. But their purchasing behavior often indicates otherwise. Consumers are often overwhelmed by the flood of product information and choices available to them. Many report unnecessarily agonizing over trivial purchases. This cognitive overload causes them to make poor decisions, repeatedly change their minds, give up on purchases altogether, or regret the purchases they do make — none of which is good for your brand. Help your customers simplify their decisions. You can reduce choice by getting rid of less popular products. Or you can simplify their choices by helping them navigate their options and giving them trustworthy information they can use to weigh the alternatives.