Giving Your Customers What They Need (Right Now)

Customer Service

The advent of Smartphones and the ability to conduct online purchasing at any time, and in any place, has forever changed how and what we decide to buy.

Before mobile devices, the choice was limited to browsing the shops on offer within walking or driving distance. Today customers can now buy products from around the globe with a Smartphone from the comfort of their own homes, or on-the-go.

The huge number of mobile-friendly ecommerce stores also means that customers have greater access to a wide range of products, both locally and overseas, on their devices. Since many businesses these days have an online presence, people can also research and read reviews of different services and products before acting on a decision to purchase.

Understanding that your customers do have a short attention span and will often take immediate action when it comes to purchasing is key. According to Google, 82% of Smartphone users make purchase decisions ‘in-the-moment’. People have high expectations and low patience levels, so marketing your services and products in a relevant and useful manner is essential to grab their attention. You need to arm them with the all the knowledge they need when they’re in the critical decision-making moment; Google refers to this as the ‘Zero moment of truth’.

So how can you as a small business owner do the best job in beating the competition in the global marketplace?

Firstly, you have to put yourself in their shoes and work out how best to address their particular need or problem. You have to become an expert in your customer’s issues – what keeps them awake at night? What frustrates them? Who is your ideal target market?

Below are some tips for getting to know your customers better so you can be the business they turn to to solve their particular issue:

  • Ask questions, how can we make this process easier or faster? What content or features can we add to make their experience better?
  • Ask them questions at the right time, e.g as a post-purchase interaction or online survey. Keep a database of the responses.
  • Examine all phases of their consumer journey to make sure you’re covering all your bases. What is the information they most need to choose what you’re offering?
  • Listen to feedback and act on it – whether it is to create website content such as an FAQ page, add improved website features or to use as a guide for further product creation.
  • Use customer feedback as a catalyst to launch new products and services but always use a beta approach to reiterate and limit risk, i.e test product on a small section of customers for feedback and repeat a number of times.

Once you’ve understood what your customers are looking for, the second part of the challenge is to be able to communicate the answer effectively. This is where relevant and useful marketing comes in. However, understanding the changing face of online purchasing and taking steps to adapt your business to what your customers want and value right now will make the process of connecting with them significantly easier. Technology is changing all the time, so your ability to keep abreast of it is important for keeping your business afloat.