Do you make it hard for potential customers to do business with you?
Interesting question, right?
Most of us would say – of course not!
We answer the phone as much as we can, we respond to emails within 24 hours, we deliver what we say we will…
At CF, we’re known for asking insightful questions that our clients haven’t really thought about, to help them see a viewpoint they may not have considered.
but how do you know if you’re making it hard for them to do business with you?
IN REAL LIFE
Our clients tell us that they love hearing about our experiences with different businesses – they find it helps them see the world from different perspectives + learn from others’ mistakes (you’re welcome!).
As you would have seen in some of our recent blogs, there’s been a fair number of interesting interactions with businesses lately!
In fact, the number of businesses I as a customer, have tried to engage with, but hit a brick wall – is mind-blowing.
Given the current economic situation + the fact that the world in general is hurting, one would think this might not be the case. But it is…
So let’s take a look at my experiences lately with businesses not getting back to me when I reach out to them – it’s an interesting mini case study.
But let’s set the scene first..
HI, I’M SUEANNE, I’M A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER…
Putting on our Customer Profiles hat, let’s have a quick chat about me as a customer, to kick us off…
I’m a pretty prepared person
Before I contact anyone, I like to do a little research, check out my options, then choose the one (or two) businesses that appear to meet my needs best.
I’m a very needs-based (+ emotional!) buyer
My needs at the time might be based on different parameters, depending on the type of product or service I’m buying – sometimes it’s based on price, or reputation, or referral or simply the personality of the businesses I’m searching. I’m an emotional buyer, more so than a functional one, some might say.
I put the hard work in so I know what I’m talking about
I do the hard yards with my research, review checking, website visiting, price reviewing, social media visiting, friend-consulting (for opinions)… I like to be prepared. Why? Because I’m a bit of a control freak + I’ve had too many bad experiences with businesses to be as trusting as perhaps I should be.
I can be a loyal advocate with one interaction
I can be like a puppy dog. Truly. If I love someone + what they do + how they do it, it takes a lot to lose me as a customer.
I’ll spend more to help support them. I’ll tell all my friends about them so that they go there too. I go back more often for little things + spend more than I normally would. I have skin in the game. I care about these businesses that have won me over. I truly do.
I’m a pretty awesome customer to have, truth be told.
But let’s not forget…
I HAVE LOTS OF CHOICES + OPTIONS…
Knowing what you now know about me, you could say that…
WHEN I CHOOSE TO CONTACT YOU, IT’S A BIG DEAL…
Your messaging / offer / personality / website / funny memes on socials have grabbed my attention!
Hooray! Well done you! That’s a pretty big deal when you think about the countless choices we as customers have at our fingertips…
So, I reach out to you as a business. I might call or email or submit a form online or message you via socials…
I make the first move.
I might ask for some information or a quote or ask a question to clarify something you’ve mentioned on your website.
I’ve engaged. I’ve reached out.
I’ve showed interest in your business. I’ve chosen you over others or at least have you in my top three options.
At this point, I am yours to lose.
I have knocked on your door, I have chased you down, I have pursued you, I have reached out to you.
SO – WHEN I DON’T HEAR BACK FROM YOU, IT’S AN EVEN BIGGER DEAL…
Remember, I’ve done all the hard work up ’til now. I’m literally knocking on your door now, asking you to sell me something.
Granted, it might not be a sale upfront. It might be a question or a quote, but it’s a conversation.
I am choosing to start a conversation with you.
Soooooo, when you don’t respond… that’s not good.
Many would say it’s just plain rude – would you ignore someone who walked by in the street + said hello?
IGNORING CUSTOMERS IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES BUSINESSES MAKE
You might think you’re too busy to respond.
You might think that the customer doesn’t sound serious.
You might think they’re just shopping around for the best price + won’t end up buying from you anyway.
You might think you have enough customers right now + can’t be bothered taking the time.
It’s a big mistake.
At Customer Frame, we say…
“the customer is yours to lose.”
If they’re knocking on your door, you’re going to want to answer that door friends, because you simply don’t know how big their wallet is, how many friends they’ve brought with them or who they are as a person + a customer.
Remember in one of our recent blogs, we told you that the way you make your customers feel, informs the next action they take…
CUE – THE F WORD
When you ignore me, I feel like I’m not important.
I feel frustrated that I have done so much work to find you, yet I reach out to you + you don’t respond.
I feel like you’re probably not the business I want to use. Why would I when you don’t acknowledge me from the outset?
I feel like you don’t value me. + you certainly don’t value the time + effort it has taken me to find + reach out to you.
I feel invisible.
I also probably feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, upset, disengaged, even determined NOT to use you.
THE REALITY FOR BUSINESSES
We know businesses are hurting right now + are struggling to keep their heads above water in many cases.
Customers aren’t necessarily flocking through the doors. You’re working hard to attract them + share with the world what makes you special + why they should choose you.
But if you continue to ignore potential customers knocking on your door, you will continue to suffer.
Stay tuned for our next blog on three things you can do to stop making it hard for customers to do business with you.