You can’t have a business without customers. It’s really that simple. And yet, the customer experience seems to be the last thing so many companies focus their time and attention on. Instead of making the purchasing experience as easy as possible, while demonstrating why the customer’s life will be better as a result of buying from their company, businesses often focus on the product itself with the belief that their customers will inherently understand the value if the product is good enough. This product-focused approach can often leave the company in a category where their customer is making a logical decision versus an emotional one. They haven’t been given what they need to feel an emotional connection to the product or company, so they base their purchasing on categories like price or shipping fees.
Here are a few ways to inspire loyalty and show your customers that they can trust your company to deliver a great product or experience for them.
1. Make their purchasing experience easy
How easy or difficult is it to actually purchase from you? Are you giving them a video that lays out the unique value offering you all provide? Are the buttons that highlight their next steps clear on your website? Is your site easy to navigate from initial loading through making a purchasing decision? Are you equipping the person researching your company or product with everything they will need to know to make the decision (or get their boss to pull the trigger)?
We believe that it is your responsibility as a business, to understand who your product or service benefits the most, and who your beneficiaries are needing to get on board in order to make the sale. If that’s “them and them” how can you make the purchase make sense to both their right and left brain. If it’s their spouse, how do you make it attractive to the spouse. Boss? Do you address the value-add and impact vs. cost to the organization on your website? Your goal should be to create frictionless buying experiences that are easy to navigate, easy to understand the value of (for any-and-all decision-makers required), and reinforce that their decision was the right one so they feel better about themselves afterwards. The more you are able to minimize buyer’s remorse or decision-questioning, the more likely you are to have a loyal customer who tells everyone they know about you.
2. Offer C.O.D. (Care on Delivery)
It can be tempting to put all of the focus and energy on getting new clients in the door, but what you do with the current clients to show them you care about them more than anyone else they could have purchased that product or service from is incredibly important to think about. If you are offering a service, what can you do upon entry/exit that no one else in your industry would do? That may be kicking off a corporate engagement with a few free singing virtual cards (where you have a talented vocalist or musician record a custom “thank you” mini-performance just for the decision-makers), or a special gift of exclusive hard-to-get coffee beans or confectionary chocolates for them to consume or gift.
The goal is whether saying “thank you” for a high-end service contract with a mariachi band performance at their office, or simply a “thank you” note from the owner of the company with their purchase of a product you make, the goal is to do *something* that gets them talking about you to their friends and peers, and demonstrates how much your company cares.
Essentially, how can you emotionally reinforce that purchasing your product or service was the best decision they could have made.
3. Have a strategy for complaints
How you handle complaints says just as much about your company as your marketing materials. In fact, the late Tony Hsieh built an entire company on the back of providing an absolutely amazing experience to people who had something go wrong. Make a list of all of the early complaints you get, track what happens when they call or submit those complaints, and work with your teams to provide an experience for those with issues that lets those customers know they are in the best hands possible. You will likely find your brand loyalty increases as a result.
By focusing on these three core aspects, you will be well on your way to providing a product and experience that your customers simply can’t keep to themselves. For more ideas of how to stand out in crowded markets, reach out to the Lillian James Creative team. We love finding ways to get great companies more attention.