Each of us always sees things from the tip of our glasses, right? So if you are THE right person for your customer and your product or service is exactly what they need to solve their problem, that’s great. It’s even better when you realize his aspiration! But how do you get him to know? What to do so that he understands that you are his provider, his consultant, his ideal supplier?
As Cooper and Vlaskivits put it so well: ” It doesn’t matter whether you’re right: you need to understand and describe the problem from your client’s perspective. ”
To understand the point of view of your client is therefore to know what is going on in your head and finally speak the same language as yourself to create a sincere emotional connection. It also means showing empathy and improving the customer experience across the board. But where does the customer experience start?
At the beginning of the customer experience
You rarely become a customer the day you come across the products or services that you end up buying. Because before buying, we often need to go back several times to find out more and feel confident. By reading your blog articles, emails, product descriptions and sales pages, you must therefore feel understood, then concerned and motivated. The customer experience begins long before the purchase! It starts from the 1st telescoping on the webosphere.
So, for a customer experience that starts off on the right foot, you need to take the reins and structure your publications. Do it, not based on what matters to you or what you think that matters to your client, but based on their real needs and aspirations. Your goal? Cause a virtual thunderbolt between you and your favorite customers.
The difficulty is that changing your perspective is not using your imagination. It’s understanding the true value of the business transaction from a customer’s perspective. But it also means understanding what you do, what it brings him, what he will get out of it and why he should choose YOU.
The real danger of the social age
Digital is a double-edged sword: borders are falling, counters are climbing and there is a fear for physical trade. But the real danger of the social age is to pretend to be interested in the other by creating a smoke curtain with an online presence to be seen. It also means being on social media to create superficial exchanges and unnecessary consumer surveys – all without realizing it.
Because there is a screen, we risk seeing our customers as a group, a target, instead of seeing them as what they really are: individuals.
As Nilofer Merchant wrote so well: “For too many businesses, being social rhymes with” Like us on Facebook! “Or” We are sorry for the problem you are having. ” We could also add “To know you better, thank you for taking this survey”, right?
Corporations, start-ups, solopreneurs, we are all concerned. Faced with the field of possibilities created by digital, we actually think of e-reputation, visibility on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and … we forget the essence of commerce: conversation!
So, so as not to fall into the trap, let’s see smaller. Let’s see the Internet as a table for two (great formulation from the Cluetrain Manifesto).
Let’s see the Internet as a table for two
This is the case: you and I are both seated at one side of the screen. There are hundreds of people like me and hundreds of people like you. And when we’re not busy being someone’s business target, we’re just solo people in front of the screen.
To understand that is to be ready to read the minds of customers and be ready to change perspective. How? ‘Or’ What ? This is what we will see.
How to read the minds of its customers?
How to know your customers at your fingertips? How do you know what’s going on in their heads? As backward as it sounds, the Internet has not changed the nature of the business relationship. It only dematerialized it. Digital technology has therefore not removed the two primary components of the commercial triptych: conversation and relationship – the transaction is still only the third component!
If you do not forget that, the Internet allows you like never before to create conversation and relationships precisely, without barriers of budget or geography. Let’s see how.
To really know your customers, you need to go beyond age, income, place of residence, tastes, habits, etc. To go further is to analyze what the information you gather means, what it translates.
Indeed, you can only empathize with your client if you know what they say, feel and think based on what they read, see and hear. To know these elements and find the links between them, here is how to do it:
1. See your current or potential market as individuals and not a group of individuals (the Internet is a table for two!).
2. Choose 5 clients who really represent the people you want to work with.
3. Make an appointment with them. Yes, I mean you have to get out of your office to meet customers over tea and coffee. “Most people will look for any excuse or rationalization to avoid doing so,” warn Cooper and Vlaskivits. So don’t accept any excuses on your part: GO out to meet your customers. And when it’s geographically complicated, Skype does the job very well!
4. Build the conversation not around you (your life and your work), but around your interlocutor. Make him talk about him to know what it’s like to be him, regardless of what you do, for 3 reasons. The first is that this is not the time to collect testimonials, but to understand how it is to be your client (or future client)! There’s nothing like talking about yourself to bias what the other person had to say. Also, in reality, your customers have a lifetime outside of your work. The second is to accept it, which allows you to find out exactly how you will be part of the decor. The last is that entrepreneurs try to validate their hypotheses (the main pitfall in these conversations) instead of being silent and listening for real.
5. Dig : you are chatting with your favorite client because they are passionate about you, that you really want to know what it is to be him and how it goes for him. So ask him to dig into what he is telling you. The design company IDEO drew inspiration from young children to develop a method of identifying problems: this is the “5 why” method. Get inspired: get your interlocutor to dig into what he just said by chaining the why. Over coffee and with humor, it’s not that bad.
One stone, two shots
The beauty of the process is that showing empathy and knowing your customers at your fingertips allows you to improve their experience, but also to:
- Better understand the value of your own work;
- Improve your article, your publications, your product descriptions and sales pages;
- Build an economic model based on the evolution of your client (another fascinating subject!);
- Make the difference ;
- Sell better.
So when you have conducted your interviews, use the information gathered to present what you are doing and to develop your products and services. They will also help you write articles for your blog and hit the nail on the head with your product descriptions and sales pages. This will improve the customer experience across the board, and your business with it!
And of course, keep asking questions and listening. Internet is a table for two!
Image source: Danka Peter