The thought of “if you open they will come” is no longer relevant when it comes to the way consumers do business. They live by the old marketing saying of “people do business with people they know and trust.” To build this trust, the consumer wants to create a relationship with the business, they want to do business with a company that puts their best interest first, not the company’s.
Think about your own experiences. I am sure you can easily remember a time when you went into a business and left vowing never to go back again because they were only interested in getting the sale and not about you. On the flip side, I am sure you can remember a customer experience that left you singing their praises. So, what type of business are you running?
I see it time and time again. Those that are prospering understand that they need to assist the consumer with their purchase and are, for lack of a better term, a “consultant” during this process. They arm the consumer with all the facts so they can make the right buying decision, whether right then or down the road. They provide a positive customer experience; they cater to their customers’ needs and wants.
Your customers are your best source of advertising and your most cost effective. Treat them right and they will share their positive experience with those they come in contact with. Treat them wrong and they will share their experience with those they come in contact with.
Social media has exploded the reach of their comments because it is easy and consumers feel they can be honest. The Harris Poll reported that 34% of consumers turn to social media to air their feelings about a company and according to the book, Socialnomics, 90% of consumers trust online recommendations and feedback from people they know.
By putting the consumer’s interests first, you create a positive customer experience that starts to build a bond which in turn creates a long-term relationship. I read in a recent article that 80% of companies believe they provide a great customer experience but only 8% of consumers agree. Are you creating an environment where the consumer feels safe, educated and where they are looking to you as the expert? By creating a great customer experience, consumers begin to put trust in you which will result in a long-term relationship.