Customers are important, very important. Your sole purpose of being in business should be to serve them. Not everyone gets this though. They think it (doing business) is about them more than it is about the customer. If your product, service or brand experience doesn’t appeal to your customers, and by appeal I mean solve a gut-wrenching and emotionally-charged problem, you lose.
In order for you to be able to deliver such a product, service or experience, you have to know what customers want and needs first. This means that asking specific questions and intentional design are absolute musts for business professionals.
Here are some recurring reasons why customers do business with you from my experiences on both sides of transactions:
This is pretty straight-forward. Probably one of the most obvious ways to render value for a customer. The more sales a business makes, the more revenue is available, and the more money people make. High sales numbers also makes a business look good and more credible if they’re able to communicate it properly to customers.
Sales volume is definitely high up there on the list because sales is a profit-generating activity, meaning it directly impacts the bottom line.
Be More Productive
If you can help someone be more productive, not only do you help them get a grip on their time, but you also help them get more done in less time. This is up there on my list. I read Lifehacker and ZenHabits frequently because they share helpful tips for getting the most out of my day.
There are plenty of people out there that’ll pay handsomely for convenience, and I’m one of them. While I’m a super complex dude, I like to keep my life as simple as possible. That’s why I love services like Trunk Club. I get to bypass the hassle of going out to various stores, waiting on long lines, and dealing with lousy customer service because Trunk Club brings the shopping experience to me and makes it enjoyable and convenient.
When I want to “go shopping” with Trunk Club I can call or go online, and my personal stylist (yup, you read that right) will send me a package with a bunch of different pieces based on my preference. I try on and keep what I like, then send the rest back. That’s the epitome of convenience.
More Free Time
People often say time is money, when in fact, it’s more valuable than money. Help your customers save time on processes of sorts and they’ll love you. There are some people who outsource certain activities just to get more free time. For me, it’s the laundry/dry cleaning service in my area. I drop off my clothes and worries, and they add a good two hours to my day. Not only is it convenient, but I can get a lot of meaningful activities done in two hours.
If you create a system your customers can leverage to afford them more free time long term, you’ll earn their hearts and wallets.
My life would be in shambles without Evernote. I’ve come to rely on it a ton; saving notes, my thoughts, and writing pieces in there. It has essentially become my daily planner. It’s keeps “my life” in order in a very helpful manner, I have everything right at my fingertips. I love Evernote because it offers convenience and reliability.
High quality, personalized customer service is something I think is overlooked way too often by businesses. Just think, who can really service your customers or clients the way you do? (if you take customer service serious). Customer service is something you can’t really duplicate, everyone has their own approach. In fact, this is exactly why I’d put it at the top of the “what customers want” list.
When you take the time to personalize the gesture, that’s when things get really interesting. Take the time to let your customers and clients know that you value them and they are the most important people in the world.
The more attention your customers gets, the more opportunities they’ll have and the better they’ll feel about themselves. Think about what a publicist does for her celebrity clients. Now while you might not be a publicist, I can assure you there’s still a way to make your customers more recognizable in their marketplace or lives.
Can you create a special industry report for them that makes them look like a genius to their customers and goes viral online? Can you help them position themselves as an authority in their industry that leads to more press opportunities and media mentions?
Hopefully these questions serve as food for thought and gets you thinking about the endless possibilities available to you.
Can your product or service give your customers a competitive advantage in their personal or professional lives? If you can communicate this and deliver on your promise, you’ll probably end up with more business than time.
It’s a proven fact that people respond more to a loss than they do to a gain. Same thing applies to money. If you can save your customers or clients more money you’ll be as good as gold in their eyes. Can you help them eliminate expenses? Or avoid a pitfall they don’t see coming?
Think about a service like LearnVest. The more they save, the more you win.
Companies in those vanity niches benefit from making their customers feel good. Think about make-up brands like MAC, health conscious companies like Whole Foods or fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren. All these companies make their customers feel good about their appearance or makes them feel like they are making better decisions about the way they life their everyday lives.
If you can build around the emotional connection that comes with making people feel good, you’ll be on you’re way to winning their wallets and benefit from lots of referrals via word of mouth.
Listen, your customers don’t want every single thing on this list. Don’t panic. However, I can assure you that they do want something on this list. It’s your responsibility to figure that out and delivering what they want.
If you know what customers want and you don’t see it here, leave it in the comments below!
What do you want?