The customer buying experience is that journey on which we take a prospect from the initial meeting to the completed buying transaction. This buying experience must be enjoyable for the customer. If it is not pleasant, the customer will go elsewhere for their next purchase, if they even last until a purchase. In addition, they will tell others how unhappy they are with the business process that was required to purchase from us.
What can a business person do to make the customer enjoy the buying experience? What can we do to make that journey pleasant so that they will want to do it again? What can we do to get them to tell everyone that they know about us and our great service? Happy customers bring us more and more prospects for our businesses. Gratitude Marketing should be the path we follow.
Did we have a simple “menu” of choices of products, or is it confusing? How do we feel when we walk into a restaurant and receive a “book” that contains page after page of entrees from which to choose? Is it a pleasant buying experience, or is it a test of our endurance? Do we get confused and give up, buying anything to end the work?
We must let the prospect know that we are grateful for a new inquiry about our business. We must make the prospect comfortable with the fact that we are honored that they picked us to engage for the solutions to their needs. They must know that we consider their inquiries as a reward for our great customer service to previous customers.
How do we move prospects from being “tire kickers” to serious prospects who are actually looking at how our offerings can benefit their business? We must apply the principles of great customer service before the prospect becomes a customer. We must be available for inquiries; we must be responsive to requests for information, maybe even before the inquiry is made. We must be proactive.
There are simple actions that we can take. Answer the phone call requesting information or return the voicemail, or email, inquiry, promptly and clearly. Be available to meet with prospects, answering all questions placed on the table. Clarify all marketing information so that a prospect understands what we offer and how much it really costs. Make it simple and clear with no surprises later.
Keep in touch and follow-up with prospects; do not allow anyone to believe that they are ignored. If we ignore a prospect or an inquiry during the prospect phase, we look like we will do the same after the prospect becomes a customer. The majority of lost customers leave you through their belief that they were taken for granted or ignored.
We all need to take a hard look at our customer buying experience and see if we need to streamline or clarify it. Make it easy and simple for someone to do business with us, and we will have customers who bring us other prospects for the great experience. Don’t make our customers believe that they have survived an endurance test and won the right to buy from us.