Business 101: Adding Extra Value to Convert Leads into Customers (Pt. 3)
Everyone is loyal to a brand, whether they’re actively thinking about their loyalty or not. Your favorite restaurant or fast food chain, your favorite pair of shoes, or your favorite pet food — they’re all brands that you buy from time and time again. When those brands are out-of-stock, you’ll either find an alternative or you’ll skip out entirely if you can.
The big question is how can you switch those customers’ loyalty to you — how can you get their attention for long enough to make them love your business and buy from you time and time again? It is possible, though this is one of the more challenging obstacles small business owners face. Today, we’re going to go over steps you can take to give you a better chance at building a large brand-loyal customer base — both online and off.
Before we jump into that, make sure you check out both part 1 and part 2 of this series. Part one of this series was all about converting walk-in leads into loyal customers. Part two transitioned into turning the digital space and focused on how to turn online leads into recurring customers. If you missed them, you can read part one here and part two here.
Offer Better Quality to Your Customers
The first significant challenge you have to overcome is your quality. Quality is the biggest thing you have direct control over and you have the opportunity to beat out larger corporations, who may be more focused on quantity instead of quality.
There are a few ways to increase the quality of your business, product, and service. It’s more than how luxurious your brand feels, it’s about how your customers perceive the value of your products and service. So, whatever the customer says that the quality is, it is that.
For example, people may buy from Amazon because the quality they want the most is convenience. They may buy from a small business because they want to support local businesses, or want something that reflects the charm of their hometown.
Before you can achieve a higher quality than competitors, you need to find what your customer wants.
Think about these questions:
- What problems are my clients looking to solve when they buy from me?
- How do my services/products solve those problems?
- Are my customers satisfied or are they asking for something more?
- Is there an opportunity to offer discounts or special promotions?
- Is there an opportunity to offer more convenient online sales or bookings?
- What is the biggest obstacle that is currently holding you back from offering these things?
Then, strategize ways to beat your competition. We recommend doing some research about their prices, missions, promises, and service offerings. This way, you’ll be confident that your quality exceeds theirs in every way possible.
Below are a few ways to increase your quality almost instantaneously.
Increase Your Delivery Speed
You can add more quality if you increase the delivery speed. In fact, in 2021, 62% of shoppers said delivery speeds influence their purchasing decision and 85% of customers will search elsewhere if delivery speeds are too long.
Increasing your delivery speed can be as simple as offering more shipping options, or as complex as changing your internal processes. You should consider decreasing shipping times, opening up times for more bookings, opening up your hours more, or changing your booking system so customers can book online versus in-person or over the phone.
If you’re selling products online, delivery speed can also mean the time it takes for a customer to buy something. Identify gaps in the user experience and fill them so your customers have fewer clicks, easier cart management, and better tracking opportunities.
By increasing delivery speed, you will not only add more value, but you will differentiate yourself as a reliable person for doing business. As you already know, on time or faster delivery is an essential element for charging the full or maximum price for your value.
Provide Expert Advice to Customers
The second way to increase your service quality is to train your staff to offer advice and mini-consultations to your customers. For example, beauty salon owners know the importance of selling the right hair product to the right client. All of their beauticians will need to be trained on different hair types, as well as the products they sell, so they can answer any and all hair-related questions and refer clients to the right line of products.
The bottom line is this: if you want to deliver real value, you need to provide a level of advice that is more valuable than what your competitors offer.
We recommend learning from your existing clients. Memorize their concerns to find solutions to them before they ask. Offer a product, a service, point out a problem you see and offer a solution, or be observant when they are talking with you so you can pick up on what they need before they have a chance to ask it of you. This will help build trust as well as create an extraordinary customer experience that other places just aren’t offering.
Improve Your Customer Service
Customer service is essential when you want to add more value to your products and services. How many times have you been back-and-forth with a customer service representative, or heard horror stories from your friends about bad customer service? It happens so commonly that many customers just expect their experience to be terrible before they even call or walk in your door.
The goal here is to prove them wrong by offering top-tier service to everyone.
Think about the following questions:
- What does your current customer service model look like during the purchase process, and after purchase?
- Is there something specific that your customers want as an additional customer service?
- Think free shipping labels for returns, a dedicated customer service phone/email/counter in the store
- What do I need to do to improve my customer services?
You can apply these strategies to your day-to-day business activities and repeat them all to improve how you do business.
How You Can Improve Your Customer Service
Better customer service starts with knowing how much time and staff will need to be dedicated to it. The less wait time between a call or email, the happier the customer will be, which means training your staff to be responsive and having enough members on your team to address concerns in a timely manner.
Your customer service model will be dependent on your industry. For retail spaces, this means offering quick and painless returns (without compromising on your return policy), and offering a customer who can’t make a return another method of transaction such as swapping the product for another size or color.
For IT spaces, it means providing excellent service to help people navigate their digital platforms, as well as helping them cancel subscriptions, upgrade, or offering them a demo or free trial.
Take the time to strategize what your customers will value most and offer it to them every time they walk through the door or enter your website. Even if they don’t like the product, they will leave with a smile because you took care of their needs in a prompt and effective way. This will lead to better reviews, more referrals, and the potential of them giving your business another chance.
Offer Planned Discounts
Finally, the most common way to incentivize brand-loyal customers to buy outside of their comfort zone is pricing. This means finding ways to lower prices where possible, offering first-time discounts, planned discounts, and special discounts to members of the military, seniors, and students.
Do market research and find out exactly what your local and non-local competition are offering. If you’re competitive, then you’re fine to keep your pricing as it is. If you’re over the average price range, find ways to add value in other areas of your business to justify that price to customers — such as better customer service, faster delivery speed, or higher-quality products. You may also want to consider lowering your prices over time to be more competitive with the market, if that is feasible for your business.
If not, then consider offering planned discounts such as punch cards or rewards. Think of discounts like: a free drink after you purchase your 4th one, or sample-sized gifts when the customer’s purchase is over $50. Also consider offering discounts to returning clients, such as offering 20% off a second massage when you book within a certain time frame.
Don’t forget about discounts for military, seniors, and students with valid IDs to help draw in a different demographic, if they match your audience avatar.
The Takeaway: How to Offer More to Get Brand-Loyal Clients
Everything starts with one question: how can you beat your competition? If you can’t beat their prices, you can beat their quality, their delivery time, their customer service, or their planned discounts. There are so many avenues you can take that you will be astonished at all of the incredible possibilities around you.
Remember, one idea of insight for benefiting customers in a way that no one is currently offering can be the springboard that launches you into a life of financial success and achievement.
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