Not Just Buzzness as Usual

When did talking over your customers’ heads become a wise thing to do? I completely agree that certain words stimulate better reactions in specific audiences however it amazes me how many people just don’t GET it when it comes to communicating with their customers.

The goal should always be to help your clients – not confuse them. Some people have different opinions on how far you should go to help a client. I think that as long as you are not sacrificing your business, you should go the distance.

Helping a customer doesn’t mean giving them everything for free or a discount. Helping a customer is giving them a clear concise message about what they need to do to make their problem go away. Most customers appreciate honesty and similarly I have noticed that more poor customer experiences are a result of too little information rather than of a price dispute.

If I bring my car into the dealership because it’s making a weird noise, I want them to fix it. I don’t care what parts they use to do it. I just want to know that A) its going to be fixed B) its going to be fixed in 4 hours and C) it will cost me $xxx.xx to get it fixed. That’s it. I don’t expect them to do it for free or a discount but I do expect them to do what they said they were going to do.

You should talk WITH your customers. Talking with your customers implies a two way converation. Two way conversations are nice and go a little something like this:

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You: Hey, how’s it going?

Customer: Terrible

You: Really? What seems to be the problem?

Customer: I just don’t understand why I am losing so much business in “X” area. The group there is working round the clock and still can’t meet our customer demands. I don’t know what is going on.

You: Really? Is this a new development or has this always been a problem?

*** Conversation continues on for a while with exchanges from both parties and then LATER THAT SAME CONVERATION… ***

Customer: Wow you are right! By clearing up the [real problem] in our “y” department, the guys over in “x” would be much better able to perform their jobs and wouldn’t be spending some much time [cleaning up the mess from "y" department]. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before.

You: Don’t worry about it – that’s what I am here for. I have seen this situation a lot. There are a couple of ways I think this could be done. I think the best alternative in your situation would be to [buy my product] but you could also try [my other product] if you think it might be easier to implement. I can drop by later to give you a little demo and discuss what would be involved here.

(In other words…”I understand your problem and I CAN HELP YOU”)

Customer: Ok drop by tomorrow at 3.

(In other words…”finally someone that can HELP ME”)

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Sometimes an actual peer-to-peer dialogue can’t take place but it is still important to dig a little deeper to hit on the real issues that matter to your customers. Don’t talk over their heads. Not many business managers or owners are going to purchase something that they don’t understand. If they do once…they might not be around for any repeat sales down the road.

Most customers are “customers” for a reason. In other words, if they knew everything you did about your product – they wouldn’t need you because they would probably make it themselves.

They don’t care if you are going to proactively implement end-to-end result driven best practices that revisit your core competencies and create 24/7 value-added solutions that improve your bottom line by the end of the day. They just want you to solve their problem.

So in summary, if you can’t talk WITH your customers, at least talk TO them. Just don’t do what so many companies these days seem to fail on, and talk OVER their heads. Sometimes the only buzz phrase you need is “I can help you solve that”.

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