This post is contributed by Jason Dirkham
Customers say the product is everything, but they aren’t telling the truth. That’s not to call them a liar; they may not understand how important the process is to them either. One thing’s for sure – sometimes, a range of add-ons can mask a product or service and make them come back for more. Walt Disney was a master, as was the likes of Steve Jobs when he was in charge of Apple. SMB owners tend to think “I can’t be as good as Disney or Jobs” and dismiss the idea out of hand. The thing is, you don’t have to be as long as you understand the tricks of the trade.
These are the three things more important to customers than the product.
One reason experts know that the product isn’t everything is that of a term called customer service. On the whole, consumers want to be wined and dined before they pull out a credit card and sanction the funds. They want to be listened to, and they want the company to go the extra mile. In layman’s terms, people expect a red carpet to roll out at their feet. And, you should oblige because customers that can’t believe in you to put in a fraction of effort won’t trust you with their cash. The same goes for rectifying mistakes. Errors are a way of life, but it’s how the company responds that counts.
The price is essential for two reasons: acceptance and mind games. One thing a triple accredited MBA program teaches its students is to find the sweet spot regarding the price. Why? It’s because people rebel when they feel they are being under or overcharged for an item. It’s best to find the balance between maximizing the bottom line and enticing customers to make a purchase. Another thing your base doesn’t want is a battle of the minds. Sales reps like to upsell, yet consumers want to get to the checkout ASAP. If they can do that, they will spread the word and come back again.
Every company puts customers through aggravations and the majority of people take it on the chin. However, it’s human nature to moan and huff and puff when things don’t go to plan. A company that can minimize the glitches should get an A+ from the people that shop there on a regular basis. Some issues are hard to prevent, such as a system going offline, and can only be classed as an Act of God. Others, like long lines and stock shortages, are easy to address with a level of organization and productive staff. Employees can be a deal breaker in these situations as they see problems before they escalate out of control. As benign as it sounds, a colleague who opens a till to relieve a queue does the firm a massive service.
Of course, the final product is important, but it isn’t the be all and end all of the experience. Can you think of anything else which is vital to customers?
This post is contributed by Jason DirkhamThis post was originally published on this site