There are two things that I’ve noticed in researching popular individuals and their businesses. They all have something people want and those people trust them. Not only that, but those people are faithful fans of their brand.
Let’s talk about that first part: Customer WANT
The things you end up buying are things you wanted. If you went to J.Crew (clothing store) and found a shirt you liked, but they didn’t have your size, you’re not buying the shirt. Them not having your size sucks, so you don’t want it anymore. This leads you to not buying. If people don’t want what you’ve got, well then end game.
Now for the issue of Customer TRUST
We sometimes think of auto mechanics (just an example), when it comes to lack of trust. Most of us don’t have any clue if those guys are ripping us off big time or not. Lack of customer trust also occurs when people think they can get a better deal, elsewhere, talking to a certain person and not just anybody, and even not making a decisive decision. If people don’t believe you’re the right person to sell it to them, well, then end game again.
It’s not as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be.
The Breakdown of Want
To find out what people want… just ask!
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers or audience what they want. It’s like asking for the sale, at some point you’re gonna have to ask or you don’t get paid. Start thinking of it as an opportunity to find out what they want and tailoring a solution for them. Don’t be a Debbie Downer and think of all the reasons why you believe this won’t work. It works!
Three things will start to surface when you do this.
1. You’ll figure out what they want.
2. You’ll create customer interaction.
3. This will lead to customer loyalty because it shows you care.
Okay, let’s get tactical – here are three tools that you can use to do the asking:
1. PollDaddy – This is a fantastic tool from the company behind wordpress.com and used by many fortune 500 companies. It’ll let you create surveys, polls, quizzes and ratings. It’s super customizable and you can even create surveys in any language. Crazy, right?
2. twtpoll – A very simple tool with lots of great features. You can create polls and surveys or as they say “TwtSurveys”. Obviously it’s used for Twitter, which is awesome to get quick real-time results. Some pretty big companies are using it, like Starbucks and CNN.
3. SurveyMonkey – I’m sure you’ve heard of this company. They’re one of the leading survey companies out there and the service they offer is spectacular. It’s super easy to use and understand. It also supports all languages and you can add your brand’s logo if you opt for the paid option. Companies like XM Radio and Facebook use this service.
They’re all great choices that you can’t go wrong with. I personally love PollDaddy but that’s just me. All three have free account options, and you can always upgrade later for more detailed information and reporting. Go get your ask on!
But I Don’t Wanna Ask!
Asking isn’t always an option.
Sometimes it’s because you’re just uncomfortable (in which case, get over it), and sometimes it’s because your customers don’t know the answers to your questions; if you’re introducing a real innovation into the market, they probably won’t know they want it until you show it to them.
So how do we figure out what our customers want without asking them?
That’s a tough one, chief. You’ll have to do some research and put on your creative thinking cap. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, think the way they think. This shouldn’t be too hard since this is your market and your people.
Get your Sherlock Holmes on, and investigate what the people are saying. Check out the blogs in your market and read the comments to find out what they’re talking about. Go social, search on Twitter and Facebook looking for interesting real-time trends that stand out.
Are people saying something over and over again? Do you notice any complaints that relate to your business? What stood out the most?
Open up a mind-mapping program like mindmeister (I use this) and put your customer in the middle. Really get into the skin of your customer, what would they be thinking if you were them? What problems do your customers seem to have? In what ways can you help? It’s a great way to think differently and really spread your thoughts in a visual way.
The Breakdown of Customer Trust
One of the big keys to building customer loyalty (and retaining it) is to achieve a great level of trust. We live in a world full of bad intentions, and customers are tightening up their guard. It won’t be easy gaining people’s trust and it takes time, but it’s worth it!
So here’s how we can go about creating that feeling of trust – in three easy steps (sure, why not…). 😉
Step #1: Human Skin
Most businesses will be online, and everyone can use wordpress for business purposes, so proving you’re human goes a long way. The chance of you being a bot online is high, just recognize this and promote your humanness.
A simple way to do this is putting a real picture of yourself on all your social networks. Get personal and share your goals, hobbies, mistakes you’ve made and experiences you’ve had.
The rise of personal brands is here whether you like it or not. Remember, people trust people not businesses.
Step #2: Do What You Say
If you say that you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t leave people hanging with negative thoughts about you and your business. It’s easy as keeping a promise.
If your customers know you believe in something, don’t let them see you on a forum contradicting your belief. You’ll be seen as dishonest and untrustworthy, ruining your reputation. Take a position, stand strong and never second guess. Otherwise don’t relay your beliefs to the world.
Step #3: Go Above and Beyond
This always makes me laugh because my boss used to talk to me about this when working on my development plan. The really funny thing is that he was right.
You need to exceed customer’s expectations and provide real value.
People expect to get poor customer service, so when you deliver exceptional service they will love you forever. If you make it a point to go above and beyond, you will more than likely exceed your competition without even thinking about it.
Provide real value by helping your customers with any issues, struggles and by providing useful information. Expect nothing in return. If you continually do this you’ll build customer trust quickly. People will want to get to know you and that’s where relationships start to develop. Maintain the relationship by answering emails quickly, responding to their comments and conversing on Twitter and Facebook.
Once you’re there, trust me, they’ll trust you.
Okay, here’s the secret…
Find people who have the inkling to want your shit. Give them a heads up that your shit is totally awesome. Don’t give them any reason to think otherwise. PERIOD.
Stop thinking of the mundane details of your business 24/7. As we get caught up in our business and the newest thing out, sometimes we forget about the fundamentals.
Combine WANT with TRUST: you’ve got a killer concoction.
Are you giving people what they want and do they trust you? How are you doing it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below…