Idea of group-buying was hot. Still hot, and will stay hot for people who are seeking for discounts.
But businesses are failed to get out of it. Here is a truth. For businesses, group-buying is hot because it attracts them new customers, and often a lot. For customers, is hot because it helps them buy something cheaper than usual. That’s it.
Customers will always look for a cheaper product, unless you create something like Mac. 😉 On the other side, businesses can’t afford to give HOT-Discount for too long.
But here is how they can make use of it. Give a discount, a good one, then make them WOW!
In one sentence: Advertising or Groupbuying attracts customers for a very short period, it is up to you to do something else to keep them in a sustainable way.
If you’ll make them love you, they’ll love you and they will tell others that they love you. 😉
Got the point? Hire Me, I can help you to make that real.
Note: thanks to Sebastian Sastre for some of the ideas that I’m using in this post. By the way, if you want better communication and management within your organization you should check out this amazing application he did: airflowing.
Business people have always been trying to judge the true value of their customers. Because they are the people their business is all about.
I believe now is the time to take next step. Watching customer’s profile picture is not enough we need to go & comment on the photo (when he was returning from Paris). We need to share the happiness together. Got it?
Our friends are the people we care about. We keep their contact details, so we can get in touch even when Facebook is down. We try to make them feel special because we know their value.
And we know very well when our friends are not happy with us, even they did not tell any body. But we automatically learn this. Same applies in business, we always need to improve things even when customers friends do not complain.
Think about these really important questions to be friend with them:
Do you know them?
Do you know what they want?
Do they know you?
Do they know they are valuable for you?
I feel I’ve not summarized it well enough, but one thing is for sure we all love to be customer friend of a good guy / company.
Few months back, one of my Indian friends asked me, Do you hate Microsoft? I replied, “No, I love Google.” Every one of us is in love with some specific companies. They build very positive image in our mind not just because their products / services are awesome at affordable prices, but in fact there are some great things happening inside these companies all the time.
I Love You More Than My Dog (Amazon Link) is a worth reading book by Jeanne Bliss. This book talks about specifically what is common between all beloved companies. Let me share you some interesting finding of the book and my ideas on becoming a beloved company.
Humanity into their business
Beloved companies take time to set their philosophy, they understand that they are doing business with humans, so they always try to keep humanity into their business. They consider lives of their customers when make decisions, so the customers become emotionally attached to them.
They don’t handle their customers, they treat them humanly in the way customer expects. The language of Welcome Messageseems if an old friend wrote it, not a computer.
They love their employees
Beloved companies believe that employees are the face of the company so they really respect them and believe that these are the people who make a difference.
Vineet Nayar, CEO HCL, developed a management approach called Employees First, Customers Second that has become known around the world. “ What we want at HCL is passion. We want people to be burning up with their desire to pursue their interests. Fascinated by their assignments. Jumping out of their skins with excitement about what’s next. Eagerly pursuing better solutions and new initiatives” wrote Vineet in an article in Forbes Magazine.
I personally believe very much in this approach, but I think good companies have been doing this since long before the businesses came under studies. Letting employees do what comes naturally to their mind other rather than following strict policies yields more result for the company.
They trust their customers
Today every business claims to love & trust their customers, but we as customers know that this is not very common. Inside the beloved companies, they decide to believe. They believe their employees and they believe their customers, their connections are genuine.
By deciding to trust customers, they are freed from extra rules and layer of policies that create a barrier between them and their customers. They enjoy a personal relationship with their customers.
They make uncommon decisions for customers
We often experience that a company’s service / products doesn’t match with our specific need. Officer at the other end says, “I understand your need & circumstances, but I’m sorry this is our company’s policy and we can’t change to that.”
But at beloved companies their employees make uncommon decisions to fulfill customers needs. Their customer service reps have the authority to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. They don’t read from a script or follow process…they help their customers.
Beloved companies takes help from their heart and mind to make uncommon decisions by considering the needs and emotions of the customers.
They admit and say sorry
In real life everyone of us say sorry on mistake, to the people who have value for us. In business sometimes things get wrong too, apologizing well and repairing the emotional connection with customers is identity of beloved companies. They don’t hide behind the wall, they tell the whole story openly, clearly and honestly.
They apologize the fault and promise to make things better. They don’t refuse to answer questions, and encourage further communication to discuss the situation. As a customer it doesn’t only make us satisfied, in fact it makes us love them more.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, the world’s biggest online shoe retailer & winner of numerous customer services awards said in a May 2010 article in SUCCESS Magazine that, “Customer service is about making customers happy , and the culture is about making employees happy. So really, we are about trying to deliver happiness wether it’s customers or employees and we apply that same philosophy to vendors as well.”
We are naturally programmed to treat others as we’d like to be treated ourselves, is Golden Rule which we should never forget in life nor in business. It’s all about being right more often than wrong.
I would love to know what is your beloved company, what makes them beloved for you. Please share your leading thoughts in the comments below.
Online media has empowered user to share his views to a vast majority. People are tweeting & blogging about their likes & dislikes.
They are writing anything about anything, Yes about your product too.So are you well aware of what’s being said about you? How you manage your company’s online reputation, which has now become very important in past couple of years.
Angry Mike can tweet about the reason behind his anger to his 3700+ followers, worse he can write a post on his blog about.
Mike is not alone here, anyone can be confuse on our your complex product and can warn his prospects never to try you, they do not care of your satisfaction.
So only great products or better services is not the answer of this possible crisis. You will have to make them happy again right there. Unfortunately most of the companies are using social media as another selling tool and fortunately they are getting failed.
Businesses today are serving to the most empowered customers in history. Therefore now customer is considered as a friend/enemy of your business. It’s up to you how you get their trouble solved and respond them as quickly as possible.
My answer to this challenge is to empower your employees. Let a human deal with a human.
Ask your IT dept not to ban twitter and other social networking site anymore.
Set a social media policy and guidelines.
Find the social guys (I call them Rock Stars) out of your staff and encourage them to talk on behalf of the company online.
Be there to support the innovative ideas of your staff and help them to apply.
Provide them the tools to manage possible risk & let them install Tweet-deck too.
Do not shit next time, “why you are installing Photoshop on the company’s computer.” Believe me, ideas can come from any level of the organization any time and they can take you to higher. Encourage them to be creative, look for the solutions with a new set of eyes.
Let the Rock Stars to spread social virus to others inside the company.
What makes the difference is weather the company has organized itself and employees to use the social tools to make their customer happy. Remember social media is to sellTAKE CARE of your customers. Take Care!