Adding more conveniences for your customers is crucial to your success in
this ever-competitive and ever-changing business environment today. Time
is a highly valued commodity! Our time-crushed society is multi-tasking
like it is some new skill that was invented. We thought technology would
make our lives easier in the long run – but it appears to give us even
more to do these days. We have simply found a way around doing two to
three things at once and driving ourselves crazy in the process.
Therefore getting your customer’s attention and offering them the service
they expect, has become even more of a challenge.
this information-age, your customers have busy lives. They try harder to
keep up with new marketing skills and the latest technology. In addition,
many are working longer hours just to keep up and stay ahead of the
growing competition. Two income families struggle the most as they seek
out both valuable time for work and time to build a stronger family unit.
time-crushed society seeks out businesses that can save them time with
added conveniences and services. Convenience for this customer ranks much
higher than a low price tag every time. Sure they want fair pricing, but
they are willing to pay a little more for convenient service that can make
their lives easier by saving them TIME.
Let’s look at it another way. Most people buy out of emotion – not logic.
Yes, they would like you to believe that they buy with a logical reason in
mind but this is not always the case. Depending on the type of business
you are in, most of your customers buy out of emotion and because there is
a strong personal connection. They then begin to build logic into the
buying decision to justify their purchase.
example: Say you want to buy that shinny new red convertible sports car
that you really can’t afford at this time in your life. But you really
want it and will try to figure out a way to justify it logically in your
mind. You want the car because of how you believe it will make you feel
and how it will improve your lifestyle. Maybe it will make you feel
sexier, younger and/or healthier. It is not about the car as much as it is
the results you will receive from owning it. Those results are exciting to
you. So, if your salesperson were smart, he or she would find a way to
get you into the car by making it easy and more convenient for you to make
the purchase. This could be done by helping you complete hassle-free
financing forms, offering you faster delivery, offering a free loaner,
giving you free bonuses, etc. They would ask you what they can do to
help you save the time of looking around and to help you make the
decision to own the car of your dreams.
making it easy and more convenient for you customers to buy you take the
“sting” and the hassle” out of the purchase and let the emotions override
Less Service And Convenience Drives Customers Online 24/7
customer of the 21st century has learned to service himself or
herself 24/7 on the Internet because they want to have the convenience of
researching anything at anytime online. And this is just the start of
24/7 services. According to USA Today, 24/7 is now a way of life.
It is not just an expression; it is a cultural earthquake that is changing
the way we live and do business!
Example: I know this to be true because now more than 60% of my business
comes directly from my information-rich website
www.DebbieAllen.com. It has even made my business more convenient by
not having to send out as much information and demo videotapes by mail. I
make it easy for my customers to contact me by inviting them to view my
website from my telephone answering machine. Often by the time I have
returned the call, they have already gone onto my site and took action.
They may want to receive free articles for their publication from my
http://debbieallen.com/pressroom.htm, or signed up for my exclusive
Power Marketing membership at
http://debbieallen.com/power_marketing_desc.htm or ordered my free
tape and even checked my schedule for availability to present to their
http://debbieallen.com/speaking_schedule.htm. This brings in more
business for me automatically because my customers can make a quick
decision or find the information they need at that moment. It’s easy –
simply add on line to your answering machine message inviting your
customers to go to your website to learn more.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer has opened 1,300 stores that are now
open 24/7. Other corporate retailers are following suit, such as Home
Depot, major office supply stores and even fitness clubs. One such fitness
chain 24 Hour Fitness opened 400 clubs around the clock at a cost
of $5 M annual. By investing in this extension of time and customer
convenience they added $50 M in additional yearly revenue. They feel that
this is a no-brainer way of increasing their gross income and additional
I'm not saying you need to open your business 24/7, but by adding some
additional hours you may be adding more convenience for your busy
customer. A web presence can offer your customers information 24/7 even if
you are not selling from your site. You are simply creating great customer
service and convenience from an information-rich website anytime of the
Focusing on a quicker checkout can make for happier customers as well.
Customers could spend an hour in a store shopping, but when it comes to
checking out they want to get waited on fast and out the door. This is
when the shift of power comes into play. A salesperson may be in
control of the customer during a sale, but when that customer gets to the
checkout counter they take control and a shift of power takes
place. The customer then has the choice of making the final decision to
buy or to put down the items and walk out of the door. They may feel that
waiting too long in line has suddenly made them feel rushed or maybe even
a little guilty for spending too much time shopping.
What are you doing to
make it more convenient for customers to shop with you?
There are many ways your unique business can offer more convenience
services to your busy customers. Just ASK! Yes, asking is key to your
success. Ask your customers what convenient services would best fit their
needs and make a change for greater service through convenience today!
Then get busy implementing those ideas, concepts and service. When your
customers see you take ACTION they will be impressed that you truly care
enough to offer them more convenient service and will be committed to you
for life. Getting a stronger focus on your customer base will help you to
add more conveniences so pay attention to WHOM your customer really is.
Gaining Insight Into Your Customers
To be the best solution to your customers’ needs and solutions, you must
first know who they are. To gain insight into your own specific situation
and to re‑focus on your main customer, ask yourself the following 7
important and revealing questions. For the best results, be brutally
honest with yourself.
1. What is the current
state of your customer base?
Do you have a strong
understanding of your customer? Can you describe them by age, gender,
sex, race, income level, needs, and concerns? If you can, are you
developing your marketing to fit their needs and emotions? Is your
existing customer base giving you increasing or decreasing sales? Do you
need more customers or do you need customers who spend more money?
Every business has
good customers, and every business has customers who you wish you could
fire. What is important is to focus on the profile of your best customers
and market your business to them. Those good customers may want more
quality, higher-end products, or different services than you currently
offer. Re‑evaluate the needs of your best customers and focus all your
marketing efforts around those needs.
2. Who is your
Business would be so
easy if we had no competition. In fact, I doubt you would be reading this
e-book if business was that easy. If you don’t already know who your
competition is, start shopping around. Look at the competition from many
different angles, not just those places that are directly competitive.
Honestly evaluating your competition can teach you many lessons about your
own business and where you can improve.
If you do know who
your competition is, start snooping around to discover what they are doing
that is working. They may not have a perfect image or the best service
either, but they must be doing something right or they wouldn’t be in
Is your competition
doing the same things you are doing? Are you doing them better? Can you
do them to benefit your customers with convenience even more?
3. Would you buy a
pair of gym shoes in a formal wear store?
What business are you
really in? Is your business focused, or are you trying to be all things
to all people? This is a common mistake among most small to mid-size
businesses. Many try to offer everything product and/or service for
everyone in fear of losing a customer. This will end up costing you much
more in lost sales in the long run. There is no way you can be an expert
or niche your business with a large diversity of products and/or
services. Do what you do well, and let your customer know what you
specialize in and make it easy from them to buy from YOU.
4. What is your USP?
What is your Unique
Selling Proposition? In your customers’ eyes, what makes you different
from all of the competition? What are you offering that no one else does?
Is your business just in the inventory or service business? Or are you in
the satisfaction business?
“Doing a common thing
uncommonly well brings success.”
Southwest Airlines is
successful not only because they offer the most competitive prices, but
also because customers know what to expect from them: They are a
low-priced, reliable airlines that delivers their service with fun and
uniqueness. They make it easy to fly with them and offer the convenience
of numerous flight times. So they just hand out peanuts? Who really likes
airline food anyway? I never eat that stuff. I fly Southwest because
they make it easy, they appreciate my business, and they run on time.
Southwest has focused on what is most important to their customers and let
go of the rest.
5. Are you offering
the services and products your customers want?
Always keep your
customers in mind with every decision you make. Everything you do should
satisfy their needs. For example, if they work in the city and commute,
stay open late a few nights so that they can do business with you when
they get home. Or open up very early one day a week. Adjust your business
to their lifestyle, and try different things to accommodate it.
Are the products
and/or services what your customers are looking for, or do they actually
meet your needs and emotions? Are you ahead of the competition, a
trendsetter within your industry? Are your customers looking for you to
be a trendsetter, or do they want solid, enduring choices? For example: A
retail clothing stores often miss out by jumping in at the tail end of a
trend instead of taking chances and setting a trend. A customer who is
looking for the latest will always perceive them as a follower. On the
other hand, some buyers purchase inventory they find exciting and forget
about what their customers want. This may seem crazy but it is sometimes
hard to set aside your emotions and focus only on the customers’ needs.
"I realized that it's
not about what you think is cool. You've got to listen to what consumers
6. How do you make
your customers see they need to do business with you?
You must grab
customer’s attention by cutting through the clutter of their lives with
blazing simplicity. It is crucial to concentrate on a core business and a
core customer. Your image must be the connection between the two. The
customer must instantly perceive who you are and what you are about. You
will know when you have the right image because it feels right for
everything you do. It is truly what your business is all about.
7. Do you need new
image that focuses on your rediscovered customer base?
If you are considering
repositioning, make a detailed focus plan. You don’t want to risk
alienating old customers or confusing new ones. An image change is a leap
of faith. Make sure your good customers can make that leap with you.
By answering these
questions you have begun to refocus and re-evaluate your customer base and
their needs. From your responses you will learn how to adjust and meet
the needs of your core customer base. You will discover what makes your
business unique and why customers want to do business with you instead of
your competition. You will begin to offer more conveniences that will
truly matter to them – creating more sales and profits in return!
Word count 2,275
Bio: Debbie Allen is one of the world’s
leading authorities on sales and marketing. She is the author of five
books including Confessions of
Shameless Self Promoters and
Skyrocketing Sales. Debbie
has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers like
crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets to
sales success. Her expertise has been featured in
Selling Power and
Sales & Marketing Excellence.
Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course
Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the
online business card quiz to rate your marketing online now at