Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on convenience every year, and that’s just when it comes to food!
What about home cleaning or landscaping?
You could do it yourself, but it’s more convenient to hire someone to do it for you. The same goes for business services like marketing, advertising, and web design.
You could learn the ins and outs yourself, but why not pay someone else to do it for you?
How about your taxes? Would you rather hire an accountant, or learn all 75,000 pages of the American tax code?
Which gas station will you go to? Probably the one that’s easiest to get to.
Research shows us that our brains will always naturally choose the past of least resistance. People – viewers, users, potential customers, everyone – will naturally choose the most convenient way to get what they need.
This means your business has to be two things:
Convenient to reach, and
Convenient to use
Customers will spend more if you’re more convenient to find and access.
Why have retail businesses always paid more in overhead to be in higher traffic areas?
The answer is obvious, right? If more people can find your business more easily, you’ll earn more money.
There’s value in visibility. Luckily, digital makes this relatively easy.
There are several different ways to make it easier for people to find you online.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Pay per click (PPC) Google ads
Any social media or networking platform
Non-Location Specific Example
Let’s say you’re not a location-specific business. People are searching for what you do.
They get on Google, and they search for a solution that your business provides. But a lot of other businesses provide a solution, too. So why should a consumer look for your business in particular?
They’ll click on the first result that looks promising, because that’s what’s most convenient. Maybe that’s whoever has the top Google Ads slot for that search, or maybe it’s the blog post that ranks highest.
If you want to be more convenient so that more customers will spend more money with you, you need to aim for these top slots (either using SEO or PPC/SEM).
For example, if you’re a retail company who’s just released a new line of sundresses, you might pay for Google Ads to searches containing the phrase “sundress,” or “sundresses,” or “knee length sundresses,” or “yellow sundresses.”
Location Specific Example
If you are a location-based business, then maybe you want to focus on keywords specifically for your area.
For instance, marketing agencies and accounting firms could work with anyone anywhere, but they tend to focus within their own region.
So if you’re a local marketing agency, you might want to focus on key phrases like “Chattanooga marketing agency” or “marketing agencies in Chattanooga.”
Customer experience is crucial to every part of your business, from finding your targets to keeping existing customers happy. You need to make sure your customer experience is top notch. You and your team need to have solid answers to all of these customer experience questions.
How do customers find you?
Our customer experience questions begin with consumers coming to you. What a dream! Billions of people use the internet everyday. They’re all doing different things, looking for different things, viewing different channels, and interacting with different brands. Consumers are discovering new brands in myriad ways everyday. How do customers find you?
Let’s be very specific here. The question is not “where does your website traffic come from?” The question is “how do customers find you?” What you want is to increase the amount of visitors that convert. Where do the people who convert come from? You should be able to answer this by checking your analytics. If you don’t have any analytics yet, you can easily add Google Analytics to your site for free.
You might get an enormous amount of traffic from Facebook, but do they convert at all? Maybe your highest conversion rates come from sponsored blogs. Why don’t you focus there? If you’re present and prevalent on any digital medium, you’re going to have people engaging with you. But what you need to focus on is where those engagements turn into money in your pocket. How do customers find you?
What are they interested in?
“They” really means two groups of people. What are people interested in when they find you and engage with you? Anytime you get a call, email, text, live chat, click-through, trial, sign-up, etc., you’re given insight into what consumers are looking for. A very important question that shows up here is: What are consumers interested in that you’re not currently providing? And should you be providing that?
For instance, we created an online texting SaaS for businesses, where we provide a local area code number for all users to text back-and-forth at will. Over time we found that people were also interested in adding text capabilities to their existing landline/business number. So we made that an option. We paid attention to what our targets were interested in, and that change has worked out very well for us.
The other “they” refers to your current customers and users. What part of your service do they find most valuable? What part do they use the most? And then how are you optimizing that interest? For instance, Instagram was initially a location check-in app similar to FourSquare, and went by the name Burbn. Founders noted that the most used feature was the app’s photo tool. The team took that interest, and transformed into the ultra-successful company they are today by matching customer experience with customer interest.
When you look at consumers checking out your service, what do they want? When you pay attention to your current customers, what are they using? What do they want?
Why do customers leave you?
It doesn’t matter how great you, your company, your product, or your customer service is, you’re going to lose people. Something will happen – not necessarily your fault – or someone else will come along, and you’ll lose customers. Big deal, right? You can’t please everyone! That’s true. But you can please most.
Why would someone leave your company? What steps can you reasonably take to keep more customers around for longer? What changes could you make to your pricing? What features can you tweak or add? What steps could you improve? How could you better handle customer complaints? It is impossible to make everyone happy. But it’s also your job to analyze why someone would stop being your customer, and do everything in your power to prevent that from happening again.
How do people choose to interact with you?
It’s very common to see a business try to funnel all communications through a single channel, such as an email inbox or call center. But how many people – consumers or customers – actually prefer either of those channels? As a brand, your duty is to ensure that every experience with you is better than any experience they could have with one of your competitors. Is that currently the case?
How do you handle social media? How do you handle texts? How do you handle live chats? Do you use these options at all in addition to emails and calls? If each of these avenues isn’t open for consumers and customers, you’ll never be able to learn how your targets prefer to interact with you. And you need to be able to handle an entire conversation in one place. Who really wants to leave a comment on Facebook only to be told to call an 800 number? Determining how your audience prefers to communicate and interact with you is crucial to providing the best customer experience.
Have you worked through these customer experience questions? Do you have solid answers for each? If not, you need to take action, especially before your competitors. You and your team need to sit down, iron out, and prepare a strategy focusing on these customer experience questions.
What business wouldn’t want customers willing to spend more with them? The real question is: How do you make it happen?
People pay more for better experiences. It’s that simple. If you want customers to spend more, you’ve got to provide a better experience than your competitors.
What does this look like in practice? We’ll take you through 3 examples you can steal for your own business!
1. Create a whole new world.
Every year, Disney Parks raises their prices. And every year, more people pay those higher prices to visit the parks, hold conferences, spend time with their family, eat out, and create memories.
Because the Disney experience is like no other! Anywhere on Disney’s sprawling campus, you’re enveloped by a unique experience. The magic and the customer-first mentality permeate every step. You’re placed entirely in that world!
Disney gets customers to spend more, because they provide the ultimate vacation experience – leaving real life for a whole new world.
By creating another world for customers to live in – be it through a physical location, content, or some other tactic – you can provide an experience that’s unique, and that’s better than anything your competitors can offer.
How can you create another world for your brand? How can you envelope customers in a unique experience?
2. Give everyone the royal treatment.
Virgin Atlantic had no business -well – being in business when Richard Branson wanted to start a new airline in 1984. It was a crowded market with a high barrier to entry, and even Virgin’s board was split over the idea!
Virgin couldn’t compete with legacy brands in terms of routes, so they gave every customer the royal treatment. Every customer had access to the airline’s lounge, which hosted free meals, drinks – the whole nine.
Passengers got chauffeur service to/from the airport without paying First Class prices. Those same customers also got calls from Mr. Branson himself to check in on the experience and hear feedback.
Virgin Atlantic created the best customer experience in the business, even as this tiny new airline, and quickly began stealing customers from larger brands.
They got customers to spend more with them by treating each customer like royalty, something Branson has called the Velvet Rope Experience.
Creating better customer service obviously costs more upfront, but it creates a better experience that customers are willing to spend money on, and come back for over and over.
Why has Quickbooks become the leading small business accounting software?
Because they’ve created tools that make the lives and jobs of their customers easier. And because they’ve made things easier, customers are more willing to spend money with them.
There’s always a way to make things easier for customers, from the buying process to the day-to-day user experience to how easy you are to find and work with.
All of this is part of the customer experience, and people pay more for better experiences.
What can you do with your products and customer service to make people’s lives and jobs easier? Doing this will help you get customers to spend more with your business.
If you want customers to spend more with your business, you’ve got to do at least 1 of 3 things.
Create a new world for customers to surround themselves in
Treat every customer like they are uniquely special, or
Make customers’ lives and jobs easier
To get customers to spend more with your business, you’ve got to create great experiences that people will want to pay for! The better the experience you provide over and over, the more people will be willing to spend.
Every phone call is a chance to grow your business, which means missing phone calls is a surefire way to lose business. Unfortunately, no one can answer every call. So what can you do?
How much business is lost by missing phone calls?
Of phone calls to businesses that are answered, 86% are placed on hold.
32% of those placed on hold hang up immediately, and since every call is a chance to grow your business – either through sales or great service – this means you’re missing out on just over 25% of your potential!
Thankfully, there are solutions to this problem. Here are 4 alternatives to missing phone calls and losing business that you should consider implementing.
1. Hire more people.
If you can’t handle all the calls you get, it’s probably good to hire another person to help you handle those calls. More employees means higher overhead, but getting back 25% of your potential would be worth it, right?
Every business is different, but I’d guess that between the relatively low wage you’d pay someone to monitor the phone and all the value those extra calls would bring, you’d be better off with more people.
Plus, if any of those calls lead to more money for your business, then this new hire is helping your business grow while making sure your competitors don’t.
2. Encourage people to email you instead of call.
Can’t handle enough calls? Have people email you! That’s simple, right?
But if you want people to email you instead of call, you have to make sure you can answer every single one of those emails quickly. Why do people choose to call, anyway? Because they want a quick answer.
Taking the average 6+ hours to respond to someone’s email is way too long. And taking too long might even raise your call volume. That’s not what you want!
The reality is that most emails aren’t read, so you need to make sure your staff is constantly on point if you want email to be your go-to inbound communications channel.
3. What about live chat?
Live chat is a great option that allows people to get answers quickly, though it doesn’t provide much mobility, which is something consumers today crave.
With another instant gratification offer like live chat, you’ll be able to reduce the number of calls you get, handle more conversations simultaneously, and bring in more business that you would’ve otherwise lost by missing phone calls.
All-in-all, live chat is a good option to have whether or not you’re suffering from too many calls. Although, we’d also recommend you go with a mobile-first option that more people can take advantage of.
4. Most people would rather text, anyway.
Texting is a great way to stand out, because it’s not something all your competitors do already (probably). Texting as an inbound communications channel also creates a great mobile experience for your audience.
We all want to resolve our issues ASAP, and texting is about as instant as it gets. It also allows people to go on about their day instead of waiting on hold.
Every phone call is a chance to grow your business, but too many businesses miss too many calls! Yet this doesn’t have to happen to you.
Follow one (or all four) of these alternatives to missing phone calls and losing business, and you’ll be able to regain more than 25% of your lost potential! The only people who wouldn’t want that are your competitors.
You talk with your friends and family regularly. You go out together, help each other move, and even buy gifts for each other. You’re willing to do a lot for these people, because you’re close.
So how can you create a similar relationship with your customers? Because that’s the goal.
Obviously you can’t be best friends with every single one of your customers, but you can build genuine relationships with them. You can be more helpful and offer better experiences than your competition.
And that’s where the money comes from.
“Nurtured leads” – potential customers you or your brand have built relationships with – will spend 47% more with your brand, on average, than leads you haven’t built relationships with.
What a powerful phenomenon!
Here’s an example of lead nurturing that you’ve probably experienced.
You like using Amazon because it’s quick, and because you don’t have to leave your seat to get what you want.
You could pick up the exact same item from Walmart or Barnes&Noble or Lowe’s and not have to wait (or pay) for shipping. In some cases, you might even save money by not using Amazon!
But if you’re like most people, you go back to Amazon again and again. Why?
Because they’re constantly nurturing you.
Every time you click on an item, you’ll notice that Amazon recommends other, similar items. They see you’ve bought one thing, and refer another item (or several) they think you’ll also enjoy.
After purchasing, you get emails and follow-ups recommending other products to try. Amazon stays with you, and slowly builds a stronger and stronger relationship with you.
Because of this nurturing, you spend a lot more on Amazon goods, and a lot less at other places.
Most businesses, particularly small businesses, rely on direct communication to build relationships with customers. They don’t have the scale (or the budget) for these automated, machine learning recommendations.
But they still try to build some relationships. Maybe it’s through the sales team, or through local networking events, or even through email newsletters.
But is there a best way to build customer relationships? Their might be. There’s at least something you could add to your communications that will help.
Think about how you communicate with your friends and family. What could also apply to your customers?
You can’t always meet face-to-face with customers, though that’s certainly valuable. You might interact with them on social media. But one way to build these relationships and nurture your leads is to text with them.
You text with your friends and family all the time, don’t you? So why not text with your customers, too?
You need to conveniently answer viewers’ questions across the entire journey. Website navigation, FAQs, and simply offering up information that viewers need to help them make buying decisions are all crucial to this.
It’s also important that – when viewers are ready for human contact – you make it easy for them to reach you quickly.
Live chat options are personal, helpful and definitely a good choice for desktop viewers. But using a business chat feature also means viewers have to stay on the same site to continue the conversation.
This can be cumbersome, especially since consumers today are mobile and always busy.
You need to streamline the customer experience. That means making the right information available quickly, and making it easy for me to engage with you at my convenience.
Email, and phone calls are standards leftover from yesteryear, but fewer and fewer people are willing to use either. Waiting on hold is a nightmare, and emails usually take too long (which gives competitors time to swoop in).
If I have a question or comment, can I just text you? That way we can carry on the conversation after I’ve left your website, and in between my day’s tasks.
That way I get what I want – personal and convenient service – and you get what you want – continual engagement with a potential customer.
To create the customer experience that consumers – especially Millennials – want, make it easy. Make it easy for viewers to understand what you do, to find what they want, and to contact you when they’re ready.
For instance, you can schedule a demo with Text Request and improve your business through that orange button in the corner. It’s easy!