Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Communicate Customer Value to the Customers

This may seem like a topic that keeps coming up every few weeks, but there’s a good reason for it – as much as companies like saying that their clients matter to them, they keep doing things that communicate no such thing. Until everyone gets the basics of this kind of thing right, there is no chance that articles like this will stop coming in.
How is THIS article supposed to help me?
By all indications, previous advice seems to have been ineffective. We’re taking that to mean that either people are being obtuse on purpose or they’re simply having trouble grasping the admittedly broad-scoped recommendations in similar articles. On the other hand, going into specifics may not be ideal because every situation is different. Some businesses primarily keep in touch with customers through business phone numbers, whereas others prefer the convenience of social media and the like.
Approaches to communication vary according to the medium utilized, which is why some tactics don’t work. Meanwhile, hyper-specific recommendations don’t serve people either. The only way to approach this, then, is to provide fairly specific rules of thumb that businessmen and other professionals can try out and evaluate. With these actionable but universal tips, you can improve the way you communicate customer value to your customers. Trial and error may not seem like the quick fix you’d expect from something like this, but it’s certainly the most effective method we know so far.
Making customers understand their value to your business
Let’s make something clear here – we’re working under the assumption that you care about your customers as people, as something other than a contributor to your bottom line (which they also are). When you place this type of value on someone, you care about them and not yourself. Therefore, you do NOT:
  • Go on a 20-minute spiel about your company history, awards, and the like
  • Launch into a lecture about your latest products and services without their permission
  • Namedrop all the important people working for and with your company without sharing anything about yourself as a person.
When you’re doing that, you’re going into “hard sell” mode and showing that you care about impressing them more that you do about helping them do things better or lead better lives. You’re basically proving to them that they’re mostly there for your own bottom line and nothing else. It’s an impression you don’t want to leave with customers. To avoid this, you’d want to:
  • Let the customers talk. Ask them questions about their lives, preferences, achievements, and dreams.
  • Use conversation to offer advice and share your company’s vision of the future before you recommend any of your products and services.
  • Pay attention to WHAT the customer talks about, and tweak your plans according to customer responses.
In other words, the key to communication customer value to customers is customization. Add value to their experience by connecting to them on a more personal level. Include a few touches to your service that prove your understanding of who they are as individuals. Either way, you talk to them (not AT them first), then base all future interactions on their responses. When you forge such a great relationship with your customer, they will understand how much value they have in your company.

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