Why are your prospects ghosting you?
Have you ever walked into a store and been immediately pressed by a salesperson or greeter with offers of help? It is a practice that generally yields quick results for the shoppers that want to expedite their search. "Can I help you?" the greeter asks. "Could you tell me where the coats are?" you reply.
There was a time when "Just looking" wasn't allowed. Goods in department stores (any store really) were kept behind counters. A salesperson would show you what you asked to see. There was always someone between you and the goods.
That all changed in the early 20th century. Now if you stand near any department store entrance today you will hear many shoppers respond, "I'm just looking." The shopper is saying, "I want to see what you have so I know what to ask for." Studies show that people buy more if they can bypass the clerk.
In the rush to turn prospects into buyers, we run the risk of alienating shoppers.
It might be difficult to think of your business as shop-able. You probably provide complex, integrated services customized to the buyer, right? So did department stores one hundred years ago. Customers couldn't be trusted to measure themselves, pick the correct tie, or choose an appropriate fabric. Buyers weren't expected to browse your entire inventory and ask for the right thing.
Except that is what buyers want to do. Browsing is what helps many them feel comfortable, which brings me to your customer experience.
About ten years ago I bought an entire new wardrobe from a clothing retailer, Men's Wearhouse. The commercials drew me in (yay marketing). The experience kept me as a customer for many years. What made it work was my customer profile. The store tracked my measurements, preferences, and purchasing history. They even kept records of what I already owned. When I came in for a new sport coat, they knew I already owned a blue blazer. Any of the salespersons could help me make a smart selection by quickly reviewing my profile.
Knowing that my preferences and needs were already part of the equation made it easier to trust the salesperson's recommendations. This is important!
There will always be other factors that cause me to continue to buy there or choose to shop around, but to Men's Wearhouse's credit, I spent more money there over three years than I spent at all other clothing stores combined.
Remember, their catchphrase?
Great customer experiences are strategically designed and faithfully executed. Every tactic needs to support the strategy. In this case, the customer profile software augmented the experience. So did the store layout, the employee training, and product selection.
Strategy can also stop you from using the wrong tactic. For instance, Men's Wearhouse didn't sell swimwear. Clearly there are a lot of stores that can do it better. And swimwear did not align with the customer experience the brand was delivering.
That's the difference between a strategy and a tactic. A good tactic makes your strategy look smarter. The wrong tactic feels out of place, and it is those inconsistencies that drive away potential customers.
How do you find the strategy that works for your business? That is the right kind of question. In this month's Intentional Success® webinar, I will unwrap the questions you need to be asking yourself before you make your next strategic move.
Strategy is our theme for the first quarter of 2018. Working on your business is our goal for the year.