How many types of buyers, consumers, and customers are there, and how do you convert each of them? You can convert more potential customers into actual customers by understanding how each one engages with a business. A business can increase sales just by learning about buying habits and how to tailor your business to their needs and wants.
The most common mistakes related to customer experience are:
– There is no strategy involved in how a business operates.
– The business is tailored to a certain type of buyer but ignores others.
– The business is more focused on the business owner than the consumer.
– Too many competing ideas are implemented which makes for a confusing situation.
The Just Looking Customers
Some customers are “just looking.” They’re not looking for anything in particular. They just want to see what you have that might catch their attention. Many have money to spend, but nothing is causing them to part with it.
You want to grab their attention. Place specialty items in a highly visible spot. Make it easy and inviting for the looker to browse. Give them an incentive to get on a mailing list. They took the time to see your business. Capture some contact info (such as an email address or Facebook account). Make sure you send out offers and incentives. Do not get discouraged. Just give great reasons for looking customers to return and you will grab some sales from them.
Bargain Shoppers and Hunters
Bargain shoppers and hunters are looking for a great sale item. So give it to them. There is a technique called a loss leader. It is a product sold below value in order to attract customers. This is common during Christmas shopping. One item is given away at a highly reduced price. Now that the customer is looking at your business, you have an opportunity to sell other products and services that they might be interested in. Make it easy for shoppers to find and use coupons. Take the opportunity to up-sell an item that goes with that discounted item. If you are giving away unpopped popcorn at a discounted price, place it next to butter, salt, and a popcorn popper.
Some buyers and shoppers know exactly what they want. They have a shopping list, and generally stick to it. They want it to be fast and easy for them to find what they are looking for. They also want the checkout and payment process to be quick and easy. They are looking for a hassle-free shopping experience. Make sure products are grouped into categories that are intuitive and make sense. Prices need to be easy to find.
Research and Spreadsheet Shoppers
Research and spreadsheet shoppers like to compare options and prices. They generally know what they are looking for, but they need to feel like they have considered all the options in order to arrive at the best decision. If they are buying a computer, they want to know all the specifications each computer available has. For any product or service you sell, make sure at minimum that you have a features list and price comparison guide.
Relationship shoppers are emotional buyers. They do not like to be ignored. They want to be greeted with a smile. They want to know that they are appreciated. They want to know about product guarantees. They want easy access to great customer service. More than that, they want to know that you care for the community. Do you have a community outreach program? Do you provide resources to community organizations that they like and want to support? They will often sign up for newsletters and seek you out on social media. With these kind of consumers, a little TLC goes a long way.
Dissatisfied customers might be returning a product or filing a complaint. Great customer service is not about never making a mistake. It is about turning a potentially negative customer experience into a positive one. First, listen to the complaint. Make sure you have a system in place to track these complaints. If similar ones are filed frequently, processes and procedures should be implemented to ensure that the underlying cause is reduced or eliminated. Second, act upon the complaint. Find and implement a solution that is not against company policy, while at the same time resolves customer issues before they escalate. Business owners and executives should develop policies that put customers first. They are the reason you exist. Most customers are looking for a quick and reasonable response to make it right. By listening to customer complaints and turning them into actions, you may convert unhappy customers to happy ones.
Loyal customers are the best type of buyer. This means you have been successful at communicating with that individual buyer. It takes time and experience to foster this business relationship, but if you are successful, you will have long-term steady customers. If you want loyal customers, provide a great customer experience. Each customer is looking for something different. Do not try to be all things to all people. Do a handful of things well. Give each buyer type what they expect. Provide a positive shopping and customer experience. If you do these things consistently, you can have a business that thrives.
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