In the real world, you warmly greet any visitors that arrive at your businesses premises or speak to you on the phone asking about your products and services. You go out of your way to make them feel welcome. In fact you will work quite hard to make sure that you get that sale and they leave feeling happy with their decision.
On the Internet it is very different. Visitors arrive at your site without you even knowing about it.
Left to their own devices, they decide whether or not to make a purchase. If they buy from you, congratulations, you have made a sale. However you haven’t had to work for the sale and you certainly don’t meet them.
It is hardly surprising therefore for some business owners to take their online customers for granted. In fact is easy to forget that they are real people.
This is a mistake. In fact, you should be working even harder to get the sales online and never take your customers for granted.
Your clients have more choice than ever and can choose to spend their hard-earned money with whichever company they think will provide not only the best deal, but also buying experience.
If you can tailor your site to make your visitor feel valued and important and take the time to understand them and consciously try to solve their problems you will get many more sales and build a strong following of loyal customers.
This article will show you how. Here is a list of 10 things that your customers wish you knew about them:
1. Money is no object when it comes to my obsessions.
It’s true. Your customers will spend a fortune on hobbies, sports or whatever their main interest is. If you cater for a particular niche, ensure that you have the full range of products or services available. Also don’t be afraid to upsell by suggesting accessories and upgrades. You easily do this on your website by making suggestions and recommendations on social media and in your emails.
2. I don’t mind spending the money, as long as I feel I’m getting real value.
Are you charging what you and your products are worth? Don’t be afraid to afraid to sell premium products at premium prices. Charging what you believe is proper value for what you do or produce isn’t arrogant or greedy – it’s essential if you want to be successful.
When you charge too little, find yourself doing extra work, or meet uncomfortable deadlines for free because you feel bad about asking for your full value, you soon become exhausted and resentful. Your customers don’t mind paying higher than the average price as long they feel that they are getting real value for money. Your job is to make sure that you are providing the very best product or service you can and charge accordingly.
3. I don’t need you to be perfect, but I do need to know I can rely on you.
No business is perfect and your customers know and understand this. They will be very forgiving as long as they know that they can rely on you and you will provide the best product or service that you promised them.
But while it is true that no business can ever be perfect, the most endearing and enduring businesses are the ones that are seen to always aspire to reach perfection. Show your customers that you are always making progressive steps to improve your business and you care about your customers and prospects. If you get it wrong and don’t correct it, customers will be quick to mention it on social media and you will lose customers. Get it right, and again, they will mention it on social media, but this time you will a new audience keen to do business with you.
4. It means a lot when you take the time to thank me for my business or a referral.
A recent survey revealed that 68% of businesses lose a customer because they feel that the company is indifferent about them. No one likes to feel like they are in a one-way relationship, the kind where you are always giving yet are never receiving. The same is true in commerce. Customers want to feel like there is a two-way relationship with a company, especially online where there are lots of opportunities to keep in touch with your customers via social media and email.
The easiest way to make a customer feel valued and part of a two-way relationship is to continually thank them for their business and loyalty. You will be glad you did, you will even create a following of super fans who will rave on about your business at every opportunity.
5. You don’t need to do all that much to be a superhero. Just do exactly what you say you will do.
If you want to impress your customers, give them what they pay for. Your delivery promise is very important because it will encourage people to buy. If you honor it every time, then it will encourage people to buy again and again.
Research has shown that delivery is the most important factor for online shoppers and is one of the main causes of shopping trolley abandonment, that is customers leaving your site before they complete the purchase. In fact, according to a recent study 94% of shoppers have abandoned an online shopping cart, with 66% of those stating that it was due to delivery-related factors or reading reviews from clients saying that they didn’t get what they were promised.
Clear information about delivery costs and times will help shoppers feel confident about placing an order. Give customers options so that you can satisfy their needs for different delivery timescales and costs.
6. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Go too long without contacting me and I’ll simply forget you exist.
Congratulations. You have a new subscriber who has opted in to your mailing list and invited you to send them information.
You need to remember that your customers and subscribers have the memory of a goldfish and will be quick to press the ‘spam’ button if they receive a message but can’t remember who you are.
To help them to remember, your first step is to teach your new prospect about you, your company and your brand. Tell them:
• Who you are.
• What you stand for.
• Why you are different.
• What they should expect from you.
• How often.
• What they should do next.
Follow up exactly as you promised and they won’t forget about you.
7. My life is really stressful. If you can reduce that stress, you become immensely valuable to me.
There are only two things that people will buy: Good feelings, and solutions to problems. Selling is all about solving customer problems, whether those are problems customers are currently facing, or problems they will face as their marketplace evolves and their needs change.
If your company does its job right, a customer has one less problem every time he or she interacts with your business.
Your goal should be to solve at least one problem each time you interact with a customer. In many cases, this is straightforward: the customer comes to you with a problem you are known for being able to solve. Your equipment can run at the faster rate they need, or your shipping service can speed up delivery to prevent critical products from being out of stock. If you can solve a problem for your customers, you become immensely powerful to them and they will remember your business.
8. I hate salespeople, but I really like to buy things.
In general, people hate the idea of being sold to. They feel better about their purchases if they feel that it was their decision. The hard sell has its place, but it isn’t on your blog or in your feature articles on your site.
Your customers see hundreds of ads in just a few hours on their computers, and if you focus on selling, your message gets lost in the noise. Telling, not selling, gives your current and future customers a break from the constant flow of advertising. Ads eventually get tuned out, but engaging information will shine.
Relationship building is the key to long-term success for your online business. Your best customers become your allies and fans, happily recommending you to their friends and colleagues.
9. I want to buy your product, but I need you to help me justify it to myself.
You might have heard the saying. “Benefits sell, features don’t”, and this has never been more important when promoting your products and services online.
Because you are not selling to people face to face and don’t actually meet your online buyers, it is easy to forget that buying decisions on the Internet are made by real people, not machines. That means emotion, impulse and other factors have a role to play in the decision.
It is your job as an online business owner to show your website visitors the benefits of buying your product or using your service.
Features are all very well, but the customers wants to know how their lives would improve or be made easier by buying your product or service.
10. I want to trust you, but it’s hard for me to trust anyone.
Buying online can be fast and convenient, and can be a great place to find some excellent bargains. Unfortunately, though, the Internet also provides plenty of opportunity to scammers, hackers and thieves and not all potential customers are confident buying online and may need persuading.
When they visit your website, they need to out their mind at rest and let them know that you are an honest and reliable business. There are a number of ways that you can do this:
• Make it easy for them to contact you by putting your phone number and contact details prominently on your site.
• Share photos of you, your staff and behind the scenes of your business.
• Interact with customers on social media.
• Keep in regular contact with friendly, helpful emails.
If you want to grow your business online, you need to be able to convince even the most nervous customer that they can buy from you in confidence.
As you can see, if you take your online customers for granted or your site doesn’t inspire confidence, they will simply take their money elsewhere. Show that you don’t really care about them or make them feel important and they will disappear and find another website that does value them.
Online shoppers have a lot of money to spend and they are becoming savvier about where they spend it.
We specialize in helping small to medium sized businesses just like yours, to reach out to a huge global audience and get more sales using the very best tried and proven online marketing strategies.
Discover what we can do for your business.