20 July, 2017
At the end of the day we all want our existing customers to keep coming back to us for the things that we sell and not run off to the competition! Now you might think it’s good enough to simply keep providing the service your customer wants at a good price, “What else do you need to do?” you might ask. Well, it’s safe to assume that when it comes to your competition there’s at least one other provider doing what you do at the same level of quality as you and there are others who are going to find a way to provide your service or product at a lower price. And even if you have the margins to start going to lower prices too, you can probably see that this is a “race to the bottom” and ultimately you’ll end up working harder for less money.
But what would happen if instead of figuring out how cheap you can be you started to figure out how much value you could add for your customers. Let’s take a look at what might be regarded as valuable beyond simply money.
In many ways this is a question of customer service. How do you deal with them before they buy, while they buy and after they’ve bought from you. Maybe there’s an opportunity to improve your pre-sales approach. If you’ve had to deal with estate agents in the past you’ll know immediately the difference between one who sees you as a percentage towards her monthly bonus and the one who shows that they want to give you the best advice possible.
So think about your business, from the moment a potential customer gets in touch on the phone, walks through your shop door, messages you via Twitter or visits your website. What experience are they having? And how do you or your staff respond?
During the sale do your ideals continue, do you maintain the experience for the customer. One of the things we all crave is consistency because we relate it to reliability and trustworthiness, so ultimately we hate surprises with any negative connotation. Imagine how upset we get when our order is late, or the food isn’t at the right temperature, or your cocktail is poorly balanced, or the cab driver goes to the wrong pick up point, or your new client turns up 15 mins late. Ultimately, being massively consistent can be in itself a great selling point as you make it possible for your customers to rely on and trust you. And that’s something they’ll talk to others about!
And what about after the sale, do you just take their money and next moment they end up outside in an alley like the bar-drunk who’s just been shown the back door?! It can be very tempting not to provide anything else for a customer once the service or product has been provided. So this is a key point that will set you apart from many others.
If you have a product that’s tricky to use are you getting in touch afterwards and offering help or training. In this day and age it doesn’t need to be in person or even live. If you create a series of video tutorials, they can be reused again and again for every new customer. So once it’s done there’s no extra cost to you but every new customer gets the benefit of additional training after purchase.
Imagine if you’re a freelance WordPress developer. You make your clients site and hand it over for them to manage, but now they have to do it and don’t know how. Wouldn’t they be made to feel well taken care of if you provided them with a series of videos that made sure they could do all the basics and get started with ease? That’s low cost to you but huge value to them!
Think about what other things could you give during or post-sale that allows you to keep following up with them while providing them something of value? Maybe it’s a simple opinion piece email series on the state of your particular industry. Or if you run a local coffee shop, you could provide them with purchase rewards with a free coffee after a certain amount of spending.
Another great opportunity to follow up is to ask your customer their opinion and ideas. You will find that amongst your customers there are some who will gladly share their opinion. For them they will appreciate seeing you want to make improvements by listening to them. For you, if you have enough people giving you feedback you’ll be able to know where to make improvements or changes to your product or even what entirely new features would be most helpful to your customer. Ultimately you’re asking “How can we make your experience amazing?”.
We’d say the key to this is to remember you are dealing with people who will be over the moon if you provide them with more value than just the thing that they’ve bought from you.
Thinking about what we’ve discussed, one of the things we’ve noticed is that some customers are impressed by the location of a business. If you’ve not thought about this before and are running your business from your home address, you might want to consider giving your customers a much more professional impression by changing your business address to a central London location. Thankfully this is really easy to do with the Hoxton Mix. Simply have a look at our Virtual Office options and if it makes sense to have a more prestigeous address, choose the option that’s right for you and you’ll be up and running in less than 24hrs!