The old aphorism that knowledge is power has never been truer for brands – particularly retailers. Customers today are active consumers. They research products online before ever entering the store and even in a store they are likely to be running price comparisons to see what your competitors are charging.
Some companies fear this approach. It challenges the idea that a shop is the trusted source of information about the particular products being sold there. Can you remember buying a TV twenty years ago? Unless you followed some specialist magazines the place you got information about which TV was better than the other was from the staff inside a TV shop or department store.
The fact is, you can’t prevent customers seeking information so it can work in your favour to facilitate it. Some retailers offer free wi-fi in their stores. They know customers will want to see a product then Google it to check for information – and to check on the price. They can’t stop it happening, so why not make life easier for the customer?
This feature in MyCustomer suggests five key steps you can take to help give your customers the kind of information that will convert them from a browser to a buyer:
- Let them ask; make it easy for your customers to ask you questions, don’t put up barriers like web forms instead of regular email
- Reply promptly; make sure you are getting back to people within a reasonable amount of time
- Let customers answer; facilitate the information flow in a way that one customer can help another, you probably have customers with as much knowledge as your own team – help them to help other customers
- Use this resource; make sure this approach is used all the way through the sales process
- Feedback the information; make sure the knowledge being created, the answers, the debates, the insight into problems, all of this needs to be fed back to improve the sales process
Photo by Karl Hab licensed under Creative Commons