So Heidi has realized the need for a problem to be solved and is now aware of your product/service as a potential solution. How do you convince her to do business with you instead of your competitors?
Before you can convince anyone to do business with you, you have to have taken the time to understand her and her problems. You need to be aware of Heidi’s required gains – her hopes and required results – and her pains – her fears, concerns and her daily reality. When you get to this level of detail, you can offer specific examples that relate to her, and you can be talking to Heidi as a person rather than people.
Once you have that level of detail you can start with carefully crafted responses to the six key elements that determine the level of satisfaction achieved in the customer experience.
Results – Getting the Job Done
Research shows this is the most critical area of comparison. Heidi wants to be reassured that she is making the right decision with your offering. Do you clearly and easily show Heidi that your product or service can help her get the job done? Do you use examples or case studies to back up your claims in a clear and compelling way? Images? Note that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
Process – the Path to Satisfaction.
Help show Heidi how you have made it exceptionally easy for her to get a result. Address at least the critical touchpoints that she will encounter in their journey with you. Illustrated step-by-step usage guides are a major advantage where appropriate.
Heidi will choose to buy on emotions after she decides that her need can be met. There must be great stories in your media content around the delivery of your core product or service. Your graphics and text need to be focused on the emotional benefit as well as the functional support you offer.
First, for lower-priced items, don’t forget the attraction factor of prices ending with 9 or 7. Second, you can minimize the price pain aspect by reframing it. If something appears to be expensive then encourage indulgence. Or change the unit of measure – while Rp 24 million may sound a lot, Rp 2 million a month is much easier to manage and is also helpful for Heidi’s cash flow. Locally, see how well shampoos sell in individual treatment sachets versus comparatively expensive bottles. Clusivol Vitamins in the Philippines used the slogan, “Because getting sick will cost you more” and grew their sales by 16 percent.
Show how you help eliminate or reduce the pains that Heidi must go through to get the job done. Make it easy for her to find what she wants. Recently Heidi and I decided to order in from a popular Ubud restaurant, so we looked up their website on an iPad for their take-out menu. It took forever to locate the tiny link to the menu. (Remember context, we were doing this by candle-light.) It then took five minutes to download their pdf menu (which would have been useless on a phone.) When we decided what we wanted to eat we found there was no phone number on the menu. Back to the website. I gave my address with the order and they already had my phone number, but those instructions weren’t properly passed on to the delivery dude, so by the time he finally found us the food was cold. No more orders from them! Remember the olden days when we were amazed that a restaurant had our address from our landline number lookup? The modern equivalent will be when the restaurant can pick up our GPS location.
FedEx answered the uncertainty problem when it innovated the capability of customers to track packages throughout the journey. You can use simple comparison charts to highlight alternative solutions in your shop or website. On your website use FAQs and helpful step-by-step selection guides. Clearing uncertainty at the point of purchase has been shown to not only lift sales but also increase Heidi’s positive referrals by 20 percent.
How easily can Heidi talk with you or your staff to get information? Can she see reviews of your offerings from other customers?
Getting in Touch
50% of purchases will be by social media or phone by 2015. 71% of shoppers already shop via phone. 88% have had a negative experience, 43% will immediately defect to a competitor and 30% will NEVER revisit that retailer’s mobile website. 51% of retailers’ websites are hard to navigate by phone. 46% of product images are too small to make a buying decision. 26% find the checkout process frustrating, and 41% have concerns over security. (retailtouchpoints.com) Put simply, do it right and you are already streets ahead of your competition.
The content on your website, the physical presence in your shop, the helpful pieces you put in your social media outlets – all these need to cover those six elements in terms of how you can help Heidi solve her problem by producing the gains and minimizing the pains.
Plan your Campaign
You can develop a schedule of articles or short pieces that cover these items, produced regularly and written to interest the customer in terms of Heidi’s “what’s in it for me?”
But before you publish all those pieces you need to consider your competition. Remember, Heidi is comparing you with the offerings of others, so how can you ensure you come out on top in this evaluation phase?
Don’t lie or exaggerate. With social media, your unmet promises will be broadcast far and wide.
Second, you need a basic competitor analysis. At a simple but effective level, this means that you need to determine who your key competitors are (say the top three) and then you need to research how you compare with them, to help you explain why your solution to the problem is the best!
Start with the Google entry. How well do your competitors word their description in terms of solving Heidi’s problem? Can you learn and improve yours, even more, to highlight your value proposition?
On their website, how well do competitors answer the six elements of customer satisfaction? Who has the easiest layout for the reader to find what they want to know?
Social Media Feedback
What are people saying about a competitor? Can you use these comments to guide your own content, to help highlight your strengths?
You should know the key capabilities required for your particular business. Some of them are directly visible to customers but others are the causes of the effects Heidi experiences, such as poor processes or untrained staff. How do your competitors rate in these? How can you highlight your own capabilities, relating them to how they help solve Heidi’s problem better?
Call To Action
Finally, help Heidi buy from you right now. Make it as plain as day what to do next. Make a sale! How you convert is the subject of the next article.