I was on the phone with a customer of one of my customers. A very pleasant conversation that revealed a lot of information about their business and what set them apart from the rest. They’re selling building materials – loads of them – to boutique-sized constructors, and very large building corporations. It’s a commodity business, and their customers have many alternative options.
Then I asked the question: ‘How do your customers want to feel?’ and the answer was crisp and clear: ‘Confident. They don’t buy from us because we’re the cheapest or the fastest – they buy from us because of trust. No matter what happens, they know we’re there, and back them up – so they can deliver their best work. That drives long-term relationships.’
My customer develops and markets ecommerce platforms – and be honest, ‘Trust’ is not exactly the word that pops up when someone is selling you an ecommerce platform. It’s simply because too often we sell the features, not the result of the features. Just think about ecommerce platforms: The majority sell the personalization capabilities, the rich self-service features for customers, the sophisticated integration with ERP, the abilities to quickly open new stores, and so on. All valid, but not the essence.
What really matters is the story about what your product helps your customer become. Very often that’s about how they can make their customers feel (even if that’s an ‘internal’ customer). If that changes, everything becomes easier.
It’s about addressing what’s meaningful. And for this customer that meant unconditional ‘trust’. Trust turns customers into advocates. And advocates are the growth fuel for the business.
So, challenge to you: How do your customers want to feel? And what can you different to your product, your service or communication to give them just that.
PS: If this keeps you thinking, consider joining the Remarkable Effect Tribe. You’d be surrounded by tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission. People like you, addressing strategic questions like these, together.