The Informed Customer
As a supplier of goods or services, your only shot at survival in the world of the informed customer is to master the customer focused strategy. Your brand must intimately understand what a customer wants and what will turn a first time customer into a loyal brand advocate. A half century ago, Peter Drucker said: “The purpose of a company is to create a customer…”. That might still be true but creating a customer falls short of the goal. In the Twenty First Century, creating customers is simply inadequate for sustainable, competitive, success. You must do more.
Turning a customer into a loyal fan, best customers, or brand advocate is no easy task. The good news is that you have more tools than ever before to successfully complete that task. The digital marketplace provides vendors with countless options to study market intelligence and consumer behavior. Social media, email campaigns, and product user surveys is a short list of highly effective tools for gaining that valuable customer feedback. It is good to understand the motivations behind a buying decision. What, when, where, and how are all good to know. The most important data of all is the WHY. Remember that every buying decision is an emotional one.
Best Customers Niche
It is impossible to be all things to all people. Know who you serve and why you serve them to keep your best customers. Once you identify that ideal customer then focus in on creating the best buying experience possible. Creating a brand advocates means exceeding expectations. It means solving customer problems in new and creative ways. Sometimes it means solving problems that the customer never knew existed. Remember that creating loyal customers and cloning those most valuable customers is never about price. Your best customers are loyal because you offer a service or product which takes the burden off of the customer in some meaningful way. Buyers pay for convenience. They pay a premium for top quality service.
Research data says that more customers are pursuing value than ever before. What the data does not tell you is the definition of value. Slick marketing has brainwashed the American consumer to perceive value as low budget or cheap. As in the “Value Mean” or “Value Priced” models. Each is a game played to get you to think you are getting more than you pay for while what you are really buying is often CHEAP JUNK. Value means whatever the consumer wants it to mean. The Billionaire sees value in owning a Leer jet because his time is worth more than the million dollar operation expense. The School Teacher sees value in shopping at CostCo or Sam’s Club because buying household items in bulk saves pennies which add up to dollars over time.
Know “why” your customer buys your products and the rest will fall into place. Give that customer what he or she wants but be sure you know what important to the buyer. Be wary of those who claim that the age of premium pricing for premium products and services is dead. There is simply no truth to that. Great service and products will always command top dollar and create loyal customers. For more on building raving brand fans, an excellent article on The Art of Customer Loyalty can be found at Helpscout.com. Blog image compliments of © Iqoncept | Dreamstime.com – Repeat Customer Loyal Satisfied Faithful Client Return Business .
Best customers, loyal customers, are the foundation of sustainable success. They are not easy to win, keep, or clone. “Nobody can guarantee your job. Only customers can guarantee your job.” – Jack Welch. Interesting concept isn’t it? Wake up call for those who think being your own boss offers more job security. If you quit your day job then you trade one boss in for an endless number of bosses. This is because, as an entrepreneur, every customer is your boss.
Customers have access to more information than ever before. “Retail prices are for suckers” is the mantra of the informed shopper. In the age of Amazon.com, Craigslist, and Google, a shopper becomes an informed bargain hunter and buyer within two minutes. Where this process of informed bargain hunting once took days or even months of product research, it now takes only minutes while never leaving your home. That means the advantage is now in the hands of the buyer and no longer the seller. Free, reduced cost, and efficient shipping means the department store and shopping mall is obsolete. There are few things a person cannot buy online, faster, cheaper, smarter, than ever before.