January 20, 2011

How To Connect With Your Customers And Turn Them Into Raving Fans!

We live in an age of brands - brands that are aimed at very specific customers. In our business we hear a lot about:

- Customer-focused solutions

- Customer centric thinking

- A company with the customer at its heart

- Customer friendly processes

- The voice of the customer

- Customer advocacy

So it would appear that the customer, whoever they are, is at the heart of an organization's thinking. How often, though, have you found that to be the case when you have been the customer? How many of the businesses that you deal with on a regular basis make you feel as if you are the most important person in the world?

When I talk about businesses, I am thinking of restaurants, pubs, supermarkets, fitness clubs, opticians, retailers of every kind; clothes shops, stationers, chemists ...the list is endless. I also mean those companies that you deal with in your business life: suppliers, clients, professional services, etc.

The sad fact of the matter is that very few places that we do business with make us feel special. And this provides you and I with a great opportunity - an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and really make our mark.

The Starting Place

The starting place has to be identifying who your ideal customer is. One of the guaranteed keys to your success will be your accurate identification of this person and your ability to craft your messages to them in such a way that they recognize instantly that you know who they are and that you are talking directly to them.

And, yes, I did say person and I mean person. This is about creating real interaction with real people. It is not about flinging out generalized marketing messages to the entire population hoping that you hit a nerve somewhere. And the fact is that much marketing material is delivered like that. How much of a waste of money do you think that is?

So whatever your product or service is, your message must be directed to your ideal customer because person to person selling is way more effective than anything else. And if your range of customer is quite wide, then pick an average person from the group or pick two or three different customers.

Who's Who?

Take a pad and pen, find yourself a quiet spot and write down the answers to the following questions:

- Who is your customer? Pretend they are sitting in front of you across your desk or kitchen table. See them in front of you and talk to them as if they were there

- What is their age, sex, income, marital status?

- Do they have children; how many; what kind of schooling?

- What do they do for a living?

- What are their likes and dislikes?

- What are their hot points that cause them PAIN and FRUSTRATION?

- What is the No1 problem they want solved?

- What is their biggest surface desire?

- What is their end goal?

You can do all sorts of things to make this person even more real for you. Give them a name. Think about what they are wearing, what they look like. Do whatever it takes to make them come alive.

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