Want to sell more? Your customers could hold the key.
How can you wow your customers?
Is it possible to reframe ‘selling’ as simply adding value, solving problems and offering solutions?
Absolutely. And the key to this approach is more simple than you might think.
Your customers offer the solution to most sales challenges – if you take the time to listen. They’re a mine of information. And whilst you may feel that listening is a passive process, it can lead to active improvements for your business.
So how can you tap into customer intelligence to hone your business message and provide products and services that will really knock their socks off?
Here’s our guide to using customer insight effectively to improve your business.
Listen and respond to customer feedback
If you’re serious about providing great service, you should be constantly looking for feedback on how you’re doing and giving the customer every opportunity to complain. This may sound strange, but a complaint is like gold dust to an organisation which prides itself on customer service.
By encouraging feedback, and making it extremely easy for customers to complain, you are firstly giving the customer the opportunity to get the complaint off their chest (and therefore making it slightly less likely that they’ll feel the need to tell other potential customers), and secondly, it gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistake, adapt your systems and staff training to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and perhaps the biggest benefit, it will give you the opportunity to turn the customer from a ‘bad advert’ for your business into a ‘good advert’. If handled correctly, you could end up with a customer for life.
Take inspiration from ‘They Ask, You Answer’
Marcus Sheridan’s brilliant book offers a simple, straightforward business philosophy and a refreshing approach to marketing, with customer intelligence at its core. Some of the key takeaways for anyone wanting to sell more effectively are:
Answer every customer question with content online
Even the Big 5 questions companies try to avoid, such as:
- What’s the price and cost?
- What are the problems and what could go wrong?
- How does your product compare with competitors?
- What do customers think about your work?
- Who are your best competitors?
Often companies will avoid answering these questions for fear of giving away their secrets to competitors. But in reality, your competitors will already know about you. There’s also a worry that sharing prices will scare some customers away – but if your price scares off a customer, they’re not the right fit for your business.
Brainstorm every question your customers have ever asked.
Then address each question, one blog or video at a time. Be willing to evolve your business based on what you learn from your customers.
American used car giant CarMax is a case in point here. It transformed its industry by listening to customers. CarMax admitted the used car industry had a problem, asked what it would take to earn customers’ trust back, and eliminated what buyers hate most about buying used cars.
It pioneered no-haggle pricing, flat-rate commissions, and a five-day money-back guarantee to reduce buyers’ fear and friction in the used car buying process. As a result, CarMax became number one in its industry.
How could you use customer insight more effectively in your business?
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, there’s lots more advice in my book Reflect. Dream. Do.