We expect a lot as customers. When was the last time you thought about the warranty that came with your car, or your laptop, or your bathroom renovation? Businesses have raised the bar so many times with what they offer that we’ve come to expect things like lifetime warranties, selfless customer service, and friendly employees. In fact, some of us might scoff if we aren’t offered those additional assets with a product. We look for something a little more than just the bare-bones product, a pre-packaged trinket that is supposed to solve all our problems. We’re transforming from a society that simply consumes to a society that experiences.
I’m not suggesting that we all want a boutique, spa-like experience when we’re buying a loaf of bread at the grocery store, but we are increasingly aware and discerning when it comes to the long-term effects of where we buy, and what our other options are. For instance, I’ll admit that I’m a frequent user of Amazon.com. I know most of the products I buy from that site are available other places, and some of them I can even get at another store within 20 miles of my house. So why do I use Amazon so much? To me, Amazon is a few important things: reliable, convenient, and fast. I know exactly what to expect each time I order from the site, because it’s consistent each time. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, so there’s nothing more convenient than being able to quickly order a needed item without getting up from my seat. And better yet, I know that I’ll receive that item within a few days, confirmed by the tracking info they send me.
You might mistake these kinds of buying habits as an indication of super-consumerism, but the truth is most online retailers are better at creating an experience for their customers than their brick-and-mortar alternatives, so it’s natural for those seeking next-level service and personal transactions to gravitate toward established brands that epitomize consumer-centric business.
Beyond feeling like we’re getting a product made specially for us, and service that caters to our needs, we want to trust. We need to know that you are a professional within the industry, and you’ve done this long enough to know the best options we have based on our needs. This is more than just educating us and assuring us of your solution, it’s a feeling we get that only you can evoke.
The best way you can convince us that you’re the expert is to be passionate. Have an honest love for the industry in general, and your solution specifically. When you meet someone who is passionate about something, you start to feel passionate about it too; you want to learn more from them, and you want to apply your knowledge immediately. This kind of passion gets people interested in your product because it’s the result of your love for that solving that problem.
You’re handicapping yourself if you only use logical reasons to convince us of our need for your product. No matter how left-brained a person is, their emotions still play an enormous role in their day-to-day decisions. Our mood, stress level, and sensory perception all contribute to how we handle circumstances. The better you control those variables for your consumer, the better the consumer experience, and the higher your chances are of making a sale…the honest way.
To recap, it behooves you as the purveyor of goods or services to think about your consumer’s experience. You should know that we already expect things like lifetime warranties, top-notch customer service, and friendly, professional employees. We also want to feel like you’re an expert in your field, and have a passion for the solution you offer. Lastly, we want to feel a change when we’re in the midst of your brand, like we’ve stepped into a different environment. If you give us cold, hard facts and simply tell us you’re the best, we’re going to forget your business even exists, but if you treat us like your only purpose is to meet our needs, we’ll remember that forever.