“Don’t find customers for your products find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin
We have discussed this before – customers of today have a seemingly endless number of options and choices ranging from the companies in the market to their offerings. Each one is constantly competing with each other vying for the attention for almost the same customers, and the amount of information and choices they send to customers can leave customers confused and ‘paralysed’ from a decision stand point. Customers tend to stop making any buying decisions, which does prove detrimental to companies. To save customers from confusion and increase sales, it would be prudent for companies to help customers choose products by providing complete and unbiased information. After all, if customers choose not to buy, companies would not have a business for too long.
Helping customers choose products has become essential given that the overload of information and choices has become a very real issue – spanning all industries, businesses, and customer types. Companies, it would seem, are now looking into solutions that would enable existing and prospective customers to ‘discover’, select, and decide on the most appropriate and beneficial products for their lives and business. In fact, today helping customers choose products with the least amount of hassle is no longer a choice or an option for companies – there are far too many competitors vying for the same customers and would gladly offer their services in a bid to ‘steal’ customers away. It is essential for companies to realize the negative consequences of information and choice overload on their business, and think of something quickly to help them appear unique and improve the perception that customers have of their company.
We constantly repeat that understanding customers is quintessential to success today. In doing so, a company can consistently and effectively customize the experience users have, which in turn would keep them interested and engaged in the company and its products. The success of companies today is intrinsically associated with their ability of helping customers choose products and solutions relevant to their lives and business. The customer of today seeks ease, convenience, and speed. They prefer that companies offer them with pertinent product choices such that they would not need to sift through a ‘sea’ of options, which may not be appropriate for them at the end of the search. By helping customers choose products, a company would encourage customers to trust the company by displaying their knowledge and commitment towards the customer’s interests. Investing time in making the lives of customers easier will reap rich rewards in terms of increased and repeat business, and over time loyalty and brand advocacy.
One of the best ways to build confidence while helping customers choose products is that a company communicate what its products would have in common with competitors, as also the differences and uniqueness of its own products. Customers should know and feel that they are in control to choose the products that would suit them the best, and companies that remain open and transparent when helping customers choose products have a better chance of attracting and retaining an increasing number of prospective and existing customers. In helping customers choose products, it is imperative to show them the features of the products, and let them exactly why those features are important and how they would benefit the customers. Companies must remember not to assume that customers would understand the features of the products, especially if the features were new in the market. Customers need time to understand any new innovative designs and features, and customers should be afforded the time to evaluate each product individually. In helping customers choose products, companies must encourage customers to avoid comparing products, but rather focus on viewing the benefits and features of each individual product.
Another interesting and engaging way of helping customers choose products is through quizzes and surveys. The questions in these quizzes would encourage customers to think about products based on their style, business, lifestyle, immediate needs, and more. Providing customers with such interesting and engaging ways to choose products would not only make it easier for them to find the ‘best fit’, but also turn them into active buyers sooner, and consistently.
As mentioned, in order to be truly helpful to customers to choose products, the first step would be to assess exactly what they need and like. Today ascertaining customer needs is essential, such that the company can reduce the complexity of the decision-making, guide customers to take the next steps, choose from the most pertinent options available, and keep control in the hands of the customers. The customer dynamics have changed – they do not have the time to go through a wide selection of products that would have potentially confusing features and those that may not suit their needs in any way. Companies could offer digital advice that would be about understand their needs, and providing them with pertinent and manageable number of choices. The advice must not be aimed at getting the customer to buy instantly.
Companies receive customer reviews all the time. By displaying these on the company website and other relevant visible online platforms a company can help prospective customers choose products based on the experiences of current users. By displaying both negative and positive reviews, a company would display honesty and confidence, and would allow prospective customers to explore any potential pitfalls or disadvantages before they actually make a purchase. The reviews from existing customers lend a feeling of security and satisfaction, making it a lot easier for prospective customers to decide. These reviews would be independent of the company’s attempts at marketing and promotion and hence would be a lot more believable and convincing for prospective customers.
As mentioned, customers expect companies to be available when they want, and round the clock digital live chats creates an authentic, real time, and helpful experience for customers since they would be interacting with a real person. IVRs and other digital self-help interactions are robotic and sans the personal touch, and customers are less likely to buy from a company that uses these methods to convey product features. Through online live chats, a company is able to form a connection with customers – greeting the customer would be the first step. In the event that all agents are engaged, a quick auto responder with a message conveying that someone would connect shortly, would work wonders in assuring customers that the company is truly interested in serving them and meeting their needs.
Whether it is helping customers choose products or some other kind of service, it is necessary for a company to maintain a positive and helpful attitude. Serving customers should be of paramount interest for companies – it would instil confidence in customers, keep them engaged, and be always open to taking suggestions from the company. The fact is that customers constantly seek companies that would keep their best interests in mind, and would not hesitate to make their negative experiences with companies, public. The more companies can do to help customers to make their lives easier by helping customers choose products and other such services. The company’s website must never be the only source for any product or information for customers. Customers could easily be confused by the information that other players may have put, and hence it is the job of a company to help customers choose products better than its competitors are. Providing customers with informative and innovative product descriptions and features is necessary in helping customers choose products according to their requirements. Whatever the method and approach a company may use, it would be essential to tailor the brand and the products to the customers. The goal for any company – help customers choose products and make swift and intelligent buying decisions.