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customer buying paths

How well do you know your customers?

By | Marketing Strategy, Sales Process, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Having an “outside in” approach to your business is difficult. It requires you to shift your focus from running, managing and developing your business to that of your customer. This mind shift of really stepping into the customer shoes and then developing a marketing strategy  is critical to be a successful small business (well any business really) and yet most companies are still selling a promise to customers that they can’t deliver or one they don’t want.

I hear customers I interview say all the time;”If they had only asked me what I wanted I would have told them.”

Your customer’s perceptions of you are not based just on an email, your website or going into your store to buy something. Their perceptions are formed when you live up to your promise or break it, generally after the sale. What happens when the product breaks, they are left on hold for 10 minutes, they are given the run around! It is hard to keep promises. It is hard to always treat the customer well, but that is why it is more important than ever to preempt their concerns and stay ahead of their expectations to deliver a really compelling customer experience.

It is about identifying with the customer journey that you can really ensure that your promises are kept. If you make promises that are not kept the customer will judge you as a liar and customers will tell others, as we all hate liars.

If you want to gain some customer insights and map out your customer buying path book a marketing strategy session today.

 

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Podcast on creating a customer centric culture

Have your buyers changed their behaviour?

By | Business marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Rain Today has a great article on and interview with Kristin Zhivago on the nature and change of buyer behaviour. What I really love about Kristin’s approach is that it focuses on the customer.

One  of the biggest tips is to interview your customers. This is a definite part of my approach. How else do you know what your customers want? How they look for your services? What was their buying path?

Kristin states that search engines, have lost their appeal. Buyers have changed their behavior and now turn to friends and social network communities to help them decide who to hire. Especially for service based businesses they ask questions on Linkedin Groups and look for recommendations. Consumers looking for products are going to Pinterest for the product recommendations.

“In the last year or so, something switched. I was interviewing customers for my clients, and instead of saying [they go to Google when starting the buying process] they started saying something else,” she says. “What they said was, ‘Well, first I go to friends. I go to people I know on LinkedIn.’ Basically they were saying look, I found people like me in social networks.”

“They may make their entire buying decision without ever talking to a salesperson or even going to a website. They may reject somebody because so many people have said, ‘No, don’t go to them because they say this, but they actually do that,'” she says.

Now buyers turn to their friends, they get a short list of providers, and then they go to the web.

“Buyers have these customer recommendation engine communities, and they use those to find out who they should be going to, who they can trust, who’s got the good stuff. And then that’s how they shop,” Zhivago says.

Marketers and sellers need to wake up to this, she says. They can’t pretend buyer behavior hasn’t changed. If they ignore it, they won’t be part of their conversations and won’t have a clue about what buyers really want.

Listen as Zhivago discusses:

  • How buyer behavior has changed
  • What marketers must do to adapt to this behavior
  • The importance of thought leadership in the new buyer environment
  • Why you need to ask current customers about their experience working with you
  • Common mistakes service firms make

Listen

If you are ready to use customer insight to improve your marketing decisions,learn more here.

 

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