Have you ever bought something from yourself?
I know it sounds like a trick question – somewhat like Alice going down the rabbit hole. But it’s not.
I’ll ask the question another way. Do you really know what a customer experiences when buying from your business? How they feel when dealing with you or your staff?
Here’s something that should make you sit up and take notice.
A loyalty study described in “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson found that the combined impact of company and brand knowledge, product and service delivery, and value-to-price ratio accounted for just 47% of customer loyalty to a particular company.
What? You mean staying loyal to a brand because they like you and think you provide good value is only 47% of the equation?
53% of ongoing loyalty is directly attributed to the “sales experience”. i.e. How you deal with your prospects and customers while they buy. How they experience you every step of the way from initial contact to finally handing over the money and your ongoing after sales service.
Now whether you believe the figures quoted by these gentlemen or not is beside the point.
Anyone with a modicum of common sense would agree that the more difficult you make it for someone to buy, the less likely they are to do so, now and in the long term.
Obvious examples are online merchants. The experience from selecting a product, placing it in a shopping cart and then finally entering your credit card has a massive impact on “cart abandonment”.
And if you’re a service provider, what’s your receptionist like? How do people perceive your business the first time they call? What happens next? How do your salespeople treat your prospects?
Every step in the process is one where you could be losing sales – you just don’t know it.
So my advice?
Call your business yourself. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. See what the process is and how you would feel if you had to jump through the hoops you make them do.
Better yet, get someone else to do it. They’re called mystery shoppers.
Find out what’s working and what isn’t. Then take action and fix it.
I guarantee your business will grow as a result.
Rashid & Barbara.