Bruce Smith

Anecdote founder

5 brilliant tips for taking back power from the customer

Anecdote’s article on 5 brilliant tips for taking back power from the customer will help you attract and convert prospects and leads.

For those of you old enough to remember the 80’s it was a difficult time for a consumer. Big businesses had all the power and they dictated the level of service they provided. 

For example, getting a phone line installed. Back in those days, you’d have to paid handsomely to get a phone line. Once you’d paid you’d then have to wait for the installation which could take weeks, it was on their terms. Can you imagine that happening today?

No, today the customer has all the power, Why? The internet has brought knowledge, education, and choice beyond all imagination.

Now consumers have all the knowledge they need to be choosy on who they spend their hard-earned cash with. Think about it, when you go to book a holiday you don’t go to the travel agent, sit down, pick a holiday and pay. You go online and spend time investigating.

Working out where you’d like to go, read many reviews of hotels and travel operators before you even venture to the travel agent. To be honest, you don’t even go to the travel agent, you do it all online.

We hope you would agree from the example above that today, choice and knowledge have empowered the consumer like never before and getting them to spend money with your business has never been tougher.

So, what’s the big take out from this as a business? The customer has all the power. What’s the solution? Leverage the internet to take the power back. And we’re not talking about throwing up a website and shouting ‘All down then’ we’re talking about using the internet and the digital environment as your battleground to grow your business.

But how do you do that? How do you attract and convince prospects and leads that they should spend their money with you?

Here are our 5 brilliant tips for taking power back from the customer.

Educate them about your industry

We would argue that all businesses today should be thinking like media companies. What? I sell engineering equipment?? Why would I do that?

To take control of the customer narrative you will need to draw them closer to you and to do that you need to educate them about your product, services and the industry you are in.

This isn’t about selling, this is about helping them to better understand your industry, you become a teacher. This feels like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s vital to build trust and bring the customer closer to you, in turn, removing some of their power.

Here's how

Video is by far and away from the most effective way of communicating to your prospects and customers. It’s much easier to digest the information when someone explains it to you on camera than it does reading a 1500 word blog post. It also provides your customers and prospects with a real view of you and your business.

Not everyone can leave the starting blocks and jump straight into creating a video for their website and socials, so start with some blog posts. Get your confidence up and in time look at creating video. 

Here at Anecdote we are still working through this and will be starting to create video content to help educate our clients and prospects. It does take time so don’t stress!

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Make a start today. Think about all the questions your customers ask you about your products and services. Write them all down. You should have a pretty comprehensive list. Right now think about the 80/20 rule and look at your sales, which products or services account for 80% of your revenue? Now focus on answering the questions associated with 80% of your revenue.

Provide certainty

When you go onto Amazon with a Prime account to buy a gift for a family relative your know with 100% certainty that the parcel will arrive the next day. Having that level of confidence in a business means that the customer will come back again and again. How can your business provide that level of certainty?

Here's how

The first thing to do is map out the customer journey from the first contact through to the sale. Write it down, print it out, have it on the wall. This is a key piece of communication to help you take the power back from the customer. You’re in control. Now look at the customer journey, how can you shorten it? How can you make the journey super convenient for your prospect? Spend some time researching your competitors to see how they do it.

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Once you have your new and improved customer journey laid out, publish it on your website and socials. Send it out to prospects. Let them know how easy it is to do business with you. Now when prospects land on your website they have a great understanding of how you as a business provide certainty of service in a step-by-step guide. 

Think of your prospects and customers like friends

Refreshing aye. If you want to take back power from the customer, you need to be much more than skin deep and pound note focused. You need to care about them and the experiences they have when interacting with you. 

Be real and down to earth, drop the corporate persona and be true to your character and values of the business. Not everyone is going to buy your products and services, don’t try to please everyone. 

Be true to your values and beliefs and be a best friend to your valued customers and warm prospects.

Here's how

Again video is a great place to be able to reassure and put prospects at ease to take back power from the customer.

When prospects land on your website having a video, we like to call them the 80% video, they can immediately click it and within 90 seconds get a great understanding of the who, what and why of your business and a sense of the character of the business. 

That’s key. For the prospect, ‘Great, I know within 90 seconds the who, what and why of this business’ I can’t stand the chap though’ so I won’t be calling them. That’s great because you want your ideal customer and the 80% video is a great way of communicating your offer and personality. It filters out the right prospects for your business.

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Don’t spend lots of money with a production company! It’s a waste of time and resources. Either uses a videographer, there are loads out there or look at setting up your own little area in the business. You can get a video set up for under £500. There are loads of tutorials on youtube to help you get started.

Offer something irresistible

Unfortunately, there is too much competition in the world to not do this. 

OK, so you’ve got your core customers which aren’t going anywhere but if you want to grow and deliver more on the bottom line then, you’re going to have to find new business which is difficult and takes time. 

Having an irresistible offer can help shorten the time it takes for them to commit to your business.

Here's how

Again research your competition, what are they offering their customers? Look at other markets and see how they create offers that are impossible to ignore. 

The important thing is that you understand the numbers and what you’re able to do as an offer to deliver new prospects into your business. 

It has to be irresistible. It can’t be mediocre. It could be ‘completely free access to your service for 3 months to prove its value. It could be Buy 2, get a 3rd free. 

Steer well clear of 20% off etc as this hurts your bottom line. Depending on your industry there are a whole host of ways to deliver an irresistible offer.

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Get your team together and brainstorm ideas. Once you have a list of say 5, turn it into a social/digital campaign. 

Get prospects to vote on which offer would make them buy your services. The great thing about this is that, you know the prospect is warm to the idea and when the poll is closed you can, with certainty, call them up and get them to commit.

Surprise and delight

Like any new or fledgling relationship you are always looking to make the other person feel good and happy. The same should be true with your customers. You need to surprise and delight them throughout the year to keep them happy and to make sure they have no plans to go something else.

Here's how

There are loads of ways of doing this. Work out a budget and stick to it. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, it needs to be real and authentic and from a place of honesty. 

For example, you could find out your customers’ birthday and each year you send them a birthday card with a handwritten message from the owner. That is a simple but awesome way of keeping control of your customers.

Once you understand how you’re going to surprise and delight your prospects or customers get on and do it! 

You’d be surprised how easy it is to start something like this and then it gets kicked down the road. 

Commit to making it happen, set a deadline, make it a member of staff’s priority. 

Once the system is in place and you start implementing it, your surprise and delight strategy again is taking power back from the customer because you provide everything they need. You make them feel special.

Well, that’s it. Was this useful? Please let us know. We want to create content that better informs you and helps you in the long run. If you need any further support please get in touch.
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