Your customers are important. After all, without them, you have no business! Everything you do revolves around them — the solution you provide, the experience you create, the language you use — and you deeply care about them. But, as you play this game of business, are you unknowingly ripping them off?
In this post, you’ll learn five ways that you may be ripping off your customer. That way, you can learn from your mistakes, treat your customers better, and start playing the right game of business.
#1: You Don’t Give Advice
If you don’t give your customers advice, you’re withholding vital information that could benefit them. After all, you and your team members are there to offer solutions to your customers, not just process transactions.
Remember, you and your team are the experts on the solution you provide.
Your role isn’t to sell; it’s to give your expert advice and put your knowledge and experience to use for their benefit. If you haven’t made the mindset shift from sales to solutions, you’re behind the curve. By shifting to a solutions-based approach, it becomes about the value you provide — not just the product — so you avoid being commoditized, squeezed on price, and overshadowed by the competition.
Here’s an example:
When an Equine Myofascial Release therapist comes to treat my horse, she’ll recommend when I should schedule the next session. After all, she’s the expert, not me! If it were up to me, I’d probably schedule the next appointment whenever I remembered, but because she’s the expert, she knows the best frequency — and then schedules it in advance to lock it in.
Had she not offered her advice, she likely wouldn’t get consistent business from me. By making this recommendation, she ensures that her services have the time and frequency necessary to be effective, thus keeping me coming back and referring my friends.
Don’t rip off your customer by withholding expert advice that could help them. Instead, be generous with your expertise and train your team to do the same.
#2: You Just Take Orders
Are you just taking orders? If your focus is simply on the money-for-product exchange, you’re ripping off the people you care about most.
Your customers don’t want you just to take orders. After all, a robot could do that! Research shows that the consumer of today values the experience and relationship they have with a brand. Often, this is what keeps them coming back. As brand representatives, your team is on the front lines of the customer experience. So, make it count!
Instead of simply taking orders, engage. Give advice, get connected, and make them feel like a part of your tribe.
#3: You Don’t Make it Easy
In today’s digital age, getting whatever we want is easier than ever. And it should be. Technology makes it so that we can purchase whatever we want at the click of a button, and the internet allows us to find whatever we need or want.
Because it should be so easy, you’re ripping off your customer if you make them jump through hoops to get a hold of the solution you offer. And by jumping through hoops, I mean things like:
- Making your customer remember to make their next appointment (or purchase)
- Assuming they know what you have to offer
- Relying on them to keep the relationship alive
If your customer likes you, make it easy for them to keep buying from you!
I recently purchased a natural chew toy for my dog from an independent business on Etsy. I loved the product, but had trouble finding it the second time around to buy it again. The business never followed up and never sent any emails, so it hasn’t been easy for me to buy what I want and they’ve got!
Things like subscription models, automatic ordering systems, consistent email reach-outs, and solid advice take the thinking and remembering away and make it easy for your customers to buy your products time and time again.
#4: You Don’t Keep in Touch
It’s simple: If your customers love your product, they want to buy it from you. But, as mentioned above, they need it to be easy. And one key way to do this is by keeping in touch. If you don’t keep in touch with your customers, you won’t be top of mind when they need you most. And this is a major rip off.
It’s almost too easy to stay in touch with your customers these days with social media, email, in-person connections, and even POS systems that offer rewards programs and experience rating messages.
In fact, did you know that even Guinness has to invest in constant advertising for their beer in Ireland? They have found that, despite being the national beer, if they don’t advertise, their numbers go down. This goes to show that, no matter how big the brand, it’s still important to stay in touch and do what you can to stay top of mind.
The point? Don’t be a stranger to your customers. Remember, if at any point they don’t want to see your communications, they can always unsubscribe or change their settings to see less from you.
#5: You Don’t Help Them Make an Effective Buying Decision
Customers don’t know what they don’t know. And you’re the expert in what you offer. That means your job — and the job of your team — is to share that expertise so the customer does know and can make an informed decision.
There are things your customer needs to know in order to make an effective buying decision. And if you keep them in the dark, you’re ripping them off.
What you know could save your customers time, money, resources, and headache. What you offer could eliminate a pain point in their life or add greater pleasure to it. Educate your customers and empower them to make a value-driven decision that’s the best fit for their needs.
When you position your business as the source of sound advice and relevant solutions, your business becomes an indispensable part of your customer’s life that they’ll rave about and return to time and time again.
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