The hardest part of running a successful business is understanding the mindset of the consumer. Just when you think you’ve predicted their interests and the types of product or services they demand from your industry, they surprise you by flocking to one of your competitors who offers something completely different. It’s important to remember the people are all individuals; you don’t always look for the same things in a product or service as your friends, and the consumers who are looking at your business are exactly the same. Captivating consumers is all about offering something that nobody else in the industry is offering. Of course, it’s about more than that; it’s about offering something that people need.
So many businesses get so caught up in being innovative and extraordinary, which is great because it demonstrates an entrepreneurial mindset and an ambition to be unique in a marketplace of copycat businesses. However, being innovative is pointless if you’re creating a product for which there is no demand. Sometimes, you don’t have to invent the new iPhone; you just need to offer a better deal on a service than your competitors or target a niche which is currently being underrepresented. This guide to captivating consumers might just help your business to stand out from the crowd.
Care about your employees.
This is integral to impressing consumers. If you’re scratching your head then this is definitely a point directed at you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the goal of increasing sales and drawing in more customers that you work your employees into the ground. It’s good to have ambition and want to strive towards a better business but doing so at the expense of the physical and mental wellbeing of your workforce is going to have the opposite effect; your productivity is going to decline and your customers are going to feel put off by the negative attitude of your staff members when the standard of customer service starts to decline. If you want to have happy customers then you need to have a happy workforce. It’s as simple as that. The best way to achieve this is to make sure your employees are involved in every decision made by the business. Hold frequent meetings with your workers (perhaps in separate groups so that each team knows what they’re doing). These meetings can be a relatively informal catch-up on the latest plans and objectives for the business.
All that matters is the point you’re making; you want the voices of your workforce to be heard. Invite opinions and thoughts on ways in which you can improve current or future projects at the company. Let your workers know how important they are to the business. You could also use these meetings to incentivize your employees; offer bonuses, free lunches, early finishes, and other perks to the hardest ways to help boost productivity. You’ll notice that customer service improves as soon as you pay more attention to your workforce. You’ll be able to make your ‘happy and helpful’ brand into a reality as soon as you work towards making your employees happy.
Go above and beyond the call of duty.
On the topic of customer service, if you really want to impress your customers then your business needs to make a promise to go above and beyond the call of duty. What this means is that you need to go out of the way to help your customers. You never want an unhappy customer because unhappy customers lead to bad reviews which will deter future potential customers from ever being interested in buying from your business. That means you need to treat every minor issue as a major issue.
If there was a fault with a product, any normal business would offer a refund and a replacement. You can go one step further than this; offer a refund, a replacement, and a bonus item (the nature of this item depends on the nature of your business). The point is that you need to make a gesture of good faith when something goes wrong so as to turn what would otherwise be a negative experience for the customer into a far better experience than they could have imagined. You should also use social media as a form of communicating with customers so as to ensure you can resolve problems immediately; slow email responses can lead to customers losing interest in your business or the potential purchase they were about to make.
Create a strong brand.
There are so many options out there for consumers these days. If somebody wants a lift to a certain destination they can call a taxi or use one of many online apps such as Uber or Lyft. If somebody wants a phone then they can choose between dozens of different companies. The consumer holds all the cards. That’s why it’s not enough for a business to offer a great product if it wants to captivate its target market; your competitors are all offering great products too. If you want to truly draw in potential customers then you need to focus on making your brand better than the brands of your competitors. Focus on your selling point; perhaps your business is the only one in its industry which is eco-friendly, for example. Even though you sell the same product as your competitors, perhaps you undercut the prices of the competition through discounts and deals for those customers who are loyal to your business.
You might also want to look into different ways of packaging your brand. Perhaps your company already has all the qualities of an attractive business; your workers are passionate and driven, your products are high quality, and you care about being ethical with regards to how your materials are sourced or the impact you have on the planet. Of course, none of this means anything if you don’t market your brand powerfully and confidently to your customers. It’s all about captivating people within the first few seconds of them seeing your business’ advertising campaign or logo. You need to use imagery which makes an instant impact. You could browse through some trade show displays if you want some professional help with making your product and brand really shine through physical advertising. Whether you’re in a shopping mall or a crowded networking event, it’s important to make a good first impression. Of course, you don’t always have to reach potential customers in person…
Learn about digital marketing.
You might be nodding right about now and saying that you already understand how digital marketing works. Your business has created profiles on every social media platform and you’ve created a website which you currently pay to advertise on many different websites. Join the club because every other business in the world is online in the modern age. There’s nothing exceptional about that. How are you going to captivate consumers? How are you going to stand out from the crowd? You need to see digital marketing as a different entity to physical marketing. If you’re spending a lot of money on placing your brand and products in adverts on websites then you’re missing the purpose of the internet.
The days of billboards and posters are over; you don’t have to pay anything to market your brand in the modern age. Online adverts can be useful, of course, but there’s a free option that achieves far better results: SEO. Otherwise known as ‘Search Engine Optimization’, this marketing technique is all about optimizing your business’ website and social media profiles so that they rank as highly as possible in search engines such as Google and Bing. The modern day consumer doesn’t like forceful advertising being shoved in their face; they like to find businesses and products for themselves by browsing the internet. If you can optimize the content of your website with a responsive layout and good keywords then consumers will see your business’ website pop up in search results before the websites of your competitors. It’s a win-win situation; you’re essentially still advertising to the target market but they’ll find your company by themselves so they don’t feel forced to look at your brand and products. This is the real way to captivate consumers in the modern age. You need to throw your company into people’s line of view rather than forcing their line of view onto you.
If you really want to captivate consumers then this final piece of advice is the most important tip you need to take on board: be human. What this means is that your business needs to talk to customers from the perspective of another person rather than a giant and uncaring corporate entity. As mentioned earlier, it’s all about going beyond the call of duty. Really pay attention to your customers and figure out what they need even if they don’t know that they need it. Impressing consumers in this way is likely to lead to good reviews and an increased client-base.