Invest in Your Customers More Than Your Brand

I came across this great article and many things struck me when reading this article.  But mainly the facts that often customers are not the center of the business.

Here are the main points I took from the article.   

A key issue when it comes to selling products online is that customers need to get as much information about the product, so as to make up for the lack of tangibility that arises from buying online. One way to counteract this is the use of customer reviews. However, such reviews will not always be positive ones, and thus, any negative comments could make a prospective buyer think twice about whether to buy that product or not. So, you could ultimately be losing sales as a result.

However, at the end of the day, it is much better to help customers make purchasing decisions, rather than trying to brainwash them with positive comments and ratings, which could be false. After all, customers have a mind of their own. They want to know the truth, and they are smart enough to find it through other online means and resources. Therefore, it is much better to invest in giving them relevant assistance and information, rather than focusing solely on the brand image.

That is just what Amazon did, and it has been a good tactic when considering the popularity of the site and the millions of sales it makes. Although persuasion is important, credibility is of essence too. Amazon focuses on advice and comments from past customers, rather than outright sales-oriented advertising and promotion.

The key is to make customers feel well informed and confident about their buying decision. By following Amazon’s example, it is much better to make use of an advice/education marketing strategy, rather than a purely advertising one. Amazon is redefining the way sales are made, and customers’ expectations. Customers will not simply be enticed to buy a product because it is being advertised as a bargain. Instead of simply checking the price and pressing “buy”, the vast majority of customers have learnt to make some research first, so as to ensure that their buying decision is supported by facts and that they will be making a well informed choice.

As much as the brand is vital to the business and its core values, the customer is the one who buys the product.  they need to be treated well, and in turn can bring true brand loyalty, and spread the good word.

Source: HBR

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe