The Sunday Mail
Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba
“The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy” – Dharmesh Shah
THE business world is full of clatter, because everyone is shouting at the top of their voice to get the attention of the same market.
It is therefore extremely difficult to get every customer’s attention, but you can arouse the customer’s interest by giving them relevant, useful messages that are, above all, interesting.
So, when customers come to buy products and services it gives many organisations a false sense that they are not boring. Customers go where they get value, but that does not mean that all service providers are interesting.
Of course, value is catchy and of interest to prospective customers, nevertheless sometimes what companies say about themselves puts off some customers and they end up being ignored.
This has seen many companies struggling.
The following are the most common customer service yawns:
1. Ditch Corporate Rubbish
In the streets, they call it ‘corporate crapola’, and this is an unclear jargony that is not known to the ordinary customer.
When you are talking to clients you should not use heavy industry language that may confuse the layman. Keep the business language plain, simple and yet professional.
Certain words are used in the medical field by people in that field, and when I visit the doctor, I do not expect him or her to bombard me with medical terms when trying to explain my medical condition or the problem that would have brought me there.
Firing me with terms that I do not understand will not only make me feel dumb, but it will turn me off. Although there may be a small segment of patients that may be impressed, or stunned by dealing with such a doctor, they too may also prefer a message that is clear.
Corporate representatives must send a message that appeals to every member of the target market by using the right language, otherwise visitors will simply click back and forget about you.
2. Sell Benefits not Features
The old saying goes, ‘Sell the confidence and not the toothpaste’. The cardinal rule of marketing is all about selling the value and not features.
Pricing determines the value of the service or product.
Companies are usually very proud of their offerings and what they can do, but smart customers know that this is not a total package.
I have also experienced this in my side-hustle business, when prospective customers enquire about my services, they are quick to ask for the price. They are worried about the price and not the value they will derive from the service.
If I give them a price and they do not call back, I just remind myself that I sell the sizzle, not the sausage. The value is more important than the price.
3. Do not Over-hype
Some companies go over-the-board when marketing their products and services. Sexing up brands with superlatives is not only phoney, but very shallow indeed.
They always want to portray their brand as unique and awesome.
As an organisation, you should never go to the extreme as it inspires a special kind of brand loathing. There is a certain local company that over-hyped its banking services, but failed dismally to deliver.
Customers were always complaining about its poor service, yet they made so much noise about the bank during its penetration into the market. It provided a not-so-awesome service, and could not deliver according to its promise.
Remember, the hype is hyper-boring and tiresome.
Market leaders are usually pace-setters on how followers and challengers present themselves in a particular industry.
It is therefore not for very smart to copy the competition, because most of it is self-defeating.
Copying the market leader will not give a reason for a customer to leave the market leader and do business with you. The customer will see that you lack authenticity and cannot differentiate your product or service.
It is obvious that market leaders enjoy a superior brand reputation, and have good experience in an industry. The market follower or challenger, who is offering the exact product or service, should therefore not copy the leader’s strategies, but come up with different strategies that will set them apart.
These strategies must be strong and attractive enough to convince the customer to ditch the usual service provider and patronise your services.
5. Do not beat your Drum
I have met people who when you meet them, are always talking about themselves all the time.
Even if you try to change the subject as soon as they get the opportunity to talk it is all about them and what they have achieved.
It is all about them!
One way to tell if a business is like that is by taking a trip to their website homepage. If the site is all about the company’s excellence and achievements, and the emphasis is on “We”, then it’s all about the organisation.
The emphasis should be on the customers, their needs, expectations and how the company is working on solving its customers’ pain points.
Whatever content that you create on social media pages or on the website, it should be for the customers.
Customers naturally care about themselves, and when they decide to buy from you, they will be buying for themselves.
Your services, products and your customers’ experience should speak louder than you.
So, instead of making it all about you, make it all about them (the customers).
*Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba is a marketing enthusiast with a strong passion for customer service. For comments, suggestions and training, she can be reached on [email protected] or on 0712 979 461, 0719 978 335