This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Jeff Shore writes about the costs and fears that prevent a customer from doing business with you. I like how he talks about serving the customer which can lead to an Amazing customer experience. – Shep Hyken Years ago I created a formula […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Jeff Shore writes about the costs and fears that prevent a customer from doing business with you. I like how he talks about serving the customer which can lead to an Amazing customer experience. – Shep Hyken
Years ago I created a formula by which people make purchase decisions.
People buy when:
Current Dissatisfaction x Future Promise > Cost + Fear
There is a lot to unpack in that little formula but I would like to address the right side of the equation, those costs and fears that prevent a customer from doing business with you.
Customer service means many things but one thing it does not mean is instilling fear into buyers. While that might sound so obvious as to be ridiculous, fear is often what both salespeople and companies inadvertently lead with.
If you make a point to notice how often cost and fear are the stepping off points for customers, you won’t have to look far. Go to almost any retail store or look at stores online and note how often salespeople, signage, and the overall purchasing vibe begins with an attempt to lower cost and insert fear into customers. Salespeople have been conditioned to launch into the “Deal of the Day” discussion as soon as a customer walks through their literal or digital door. This is not “service,” this is stress!
Think about this cost plus fear approach for a moment. The message to the customer is this: “I can hit you up front with a price that is so low you will have to pay attention to my deal, even if you don’t like or need the product, and I’m going to have you fearful and stressed out about missing a good deal!” While worry-inducing approaches such as this may result in single sales, stressing people out does not make for loyal customers. Customers will feel served if they are in fact served, not threatened.
When customers are “served” via price claims and fear, they tend to ask themselves questions such as, What’s wrong with this item?…Why doesn’t anyone else want it?…Should I pay more for better quality?…Will this go on an even bigger sale tomorrow? If customer service is all about listening to people and providing solutions for their problems, inspiring a string of stressful questions like these is the exact opposite of what you want to provide for your customers.
More importantly, when customer service takes the form of a frantic “buy now or else” fear-filled price pitch, customers are reduced to bank accounts and knee-jerk reactions. Just like you, customers are people. If you resist the trend to lead with price and fear and aim to truly serve individuals, you will create satisfied and loyal customers.
About the Author:
Jeff Shore is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and executive coach. His latest book, Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Performance, (published by McGraw-Hill in January 2014) illustrates Jeff’s innovative BE BOLD methodology and teaches you how to change your mindset and change your world. Learn more at jeffshore.com or follow Jeff on Twitter.
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