Are you talking at your customer and not letting that person get a word in edgewise? Are you trying to ferret out the customer’s point of view and then badgering that person to explain how that opinion is just wrong and you’re right? Is every interaction the hard sell to get the customer to second base?
Why are you making your customers feel like they’re on bad dates?
If you’re ready to make a change, what you need to do is shift your point of view. It’s not you selling your customer. It’s about you and your customer being in it together. And, believe it or not, there are some tools you can use to automate this process. (Don’t laugh. It sounds like you can use some help.)
Learn. Get some intel on who your customer is. You’re not going to make the same assumptions about the single parent who’s about to retire as you are the 20-something nightclubber, but just the same, you should find out about the actual interests of your customer.
- Social Media Monitoring is a great way to learn how other see you and your brand.
- Business Intelligence will help you learn how other suitors are talking to your customer.
- Customer Modeling tools help you get a sense of who you’re talking with, at scale.
Engage. This doesn’t mean lecture for two hours about how your technology is best until your customer is signaling for the check just to get out of there. This means engage – ask questions eliciting what, hopefully, is a thoughtful response.
- Contests are a fun way to ask questions that allow you to follow-up on what your customer is seeking out of you.
- Games get the customer sharing strategy and choices with you – and some of the responses can be completely automated.
- Content that is about the customer’s wants and desires are a great help – once you know what is needed, offer content to fit your customer’s point of view.
Listen. Pause to let your customer respond and ask questions. And when you respond, make sure you reflect your customer’s interests – make it about the things you have in common, not what sets you, yourself, apart from the pack.
- Voice of the Customer tools help you sort through the signals you’re getting back.
- Customer Lifecycle Management tools help you keep track of where the customer is in the process.
- Customer Feedback Management allows you to respond quickly when there’s a problem.
Ready for customer dating? We’re on twitter at @CabinetM1 if you have ideas about romancing a customer you’d like to share.