“Thinking like your customers” is a mantra of every sales and marketing strategy, but not everyone applies this method. Understanding how customers think can help you decide your business and customer experience strategy, but how do you do it?
The point of thinking like customers is “knowing what they want”. You must step into their shoes to know what they need and the problems they want to address. Successful sellers and business owners adjust their marketing and customer experience methods to solve these issues.
If “thinking like customers” still sounds too abstract, you can follow several important steps. Use them as a guide to probe your customers and understand what they need.
1. Think about Their Problems
To really know your prospective customers, first you must undertsand their main problems. These problems are the main reasons why they need and will actually buy what you offer. To improve your strategy, ask yourselves these questions.
- What problems do they face or need a solution for?
- How many times do they experience the problems?
- How do these problems affect their social and professional life?
- Have they tried specific solutions before making inquiries to you?
2. Understand How Your Products Solve Their Problems
Once you contemplate on the customers’ main problems, study your products. Observe their characteristics and features and match them with possible customers. Can these products answer the customers’ needs? Do they solve the problems?
The key to selling them is to make customers understand that they need your solutions. Make persuasive arguments based on your products’ merits.
3. Perceive How Customers Think about Risks
When prospective customers are faced with possible solutions, they will think about risks. This is natural since they want to get their money's worth (and avoid additional troubles). Plus, modern customers are savvier than before. They use the internet, social media, and other means to read reviews, recommendations, and comparations.
There are several common risks customers may think about specific products. They are:
- Expensive prices (plus the inability to ask for refunds)
- Bad product/service quality
- Health risks
- Possible faults, defects, and recalls
- Inability to deliver what’s promised
Prospective customers may make various general inquiries regarding your products. Questions for computers or smartphones, for example, are different from the ones about travel packages. However, they all demand you to understand the things customers perceive as risks.
4. Consider How You Can Offer Solutions for the Risks
Once you know what risks the customers fear, be the one to offer the solutions. If the customers have concerns about qualities, explain how you follow industry standards and earn awards. If the customers calculate their money meticulously, explain how your products deliver high-quality results, complete with testimonials.
Some salespeople or business owners make mistakes by convincing customers that their products pose no risks. This is counterproductive! The savvy modern customers will get suspicious about something that is “too good to be true”. It is better if you stay honest about possible risks. However, don’t forget to explain how your brand works to mitigate them.
5. Decide Your Pricing Details and The Values
Generally, customers want the best prices for the products they buy. However, many customers also consider the things they will get from paying a certain amount. Do they get what they want? Are there plus points they can get from buying your products?
You can research your competitors to determine the best prices. There are several important points to learn from them before you decide on the numbers. The points are:
- Product types, including the features, functions, and general quality
- Prices, including the differences between stores, retail, and various market channels
- Values, including the main and additional benefits for most target customers
- Additional services that are included in the prices (installation fees, one-year warranty, and such)
After studying your competitors, use the information to determine your position in prices and offered qualities. Describe the differences between your products and competitors', and what extra points you can offer to customers. Emphasize how your products are worth the spending, but never make a direct comparison to your competitors (such as saying your products are better than them). Customers will see it as a "childish" way to bring down other businesses.
Understanding how your customers think means knowing their problems and offering solutions. You need to study your competitors, customers, and your products to create the best sales strategies. Improve your business and customer experience by placing your feet in their shoes first!