Do You Understand The Customer’s Problem?

Don’t listen to what they say, follow the money instead

If you want a customer to become price insensitive towards your product or service, you have to build trust. The fastest and most direct way to create this necessary trust is to understand your customer’s problem. Yet, one of the challenges in actually obtaining this understanding is to be able to determine what these problems are even when the customer isn’t fully aware of them. A customer’s perception of a problem and the reality of what that problem actually is are two different things.


A customer may believe that one of their current problems is being able to get groceries during the COVID-19 crisis, as an example. However, if we were to look at where they actually spend their money, we can paint a different picture. If a hypothetical group of surveyed customers says that their main expense and main concern is on groceries but, they spend more money on takeout—we have to prioritize their spending habits. How people spend their money and why they save their money is a better indicator of the problems and concerns that are truly important to them.


If you are able to determine what your customer’s spending habits are, showcase how these spending habits reflect their real problems, and then market stories related to that problem without overtly promoting the specific solution that you provide—you create a winning formula to generate trust. Combine your customer’s spending habits with what they are sharing online and you can start optimizing your branding and marketing strategies.


Image Credit: Unsplash


Prepping Your Customers For A Relationship

If you want to win, start with awareness, then consideration, and then maybe—the conversion

You can’t build a meaningful relationship with your customers if you constantly interrupt them. Even a free “10 Essential Steps to Washing Your Dog” guide to launch your email newsletter requires preparation. The word free still implies an exchange, there is still a trade going on.


Nothing exchanged online is truly free and your user intrinsically understands this.


If you want awareness, you have to give something in return. To gain consideration, you have to provide an excess of value to the end consumer. And your customers don’t buy your products and services unless you’ve established a relationship with them—the type of relationship that takes a substantial amount of time to earn.


Your competition is not only those brands within your industry, the companies that are selling similar things. Your competition is every single company and person who wants a relationship with your customer. Your customers can sustain multiple relationships at a time, but to enter into that list or relationships requires effort and time.


Of course you can spend money to interrupt your customers as they navigate their feeds, but ad spend is often wasted on users who have no interest in you. You are also wasting money when you retarget interested users, pushing the sale rather than a relationship. There’s a fine line between positioning yourself and being a nuisance.


People buy when they are ready to buy

Your customer most likely already has a list of bills and other financial commitments that require more attention than what you have to offer. Even if you are providing the most stellar product or service, you can only convince them to consider you. That is the most you can do with all the money and effort in the world.


We have to assume that if the person we are speaking to really needs us, they will buy when they are ready. We can’t force them to make the decision. Focus on building a relationship, which may take years to make depending on the price and the value of your work. Trust that building a relationship is more important than the bottom line. Building a relationship with your customers is what’s going to distinguish you from the competition.


Convince your customer to consider you, not to buy from you. That’s how you win.


Image Credit: Unsplash

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