When you are faced with a jaded audience who’ve been informed of every scam on the planet, have been burned by bad customer service, and know horror stories of substandard products and service contracts from hell, what can you do to keep drumming up fresh business in the form of new customers?
You start with a clean slate.
Running an online business is hard work, and part of that is developing foresight and proactiveness. You think of the most possible and probable issues coming down the line and take the steps to prevent them from happening, or work to weaken their impact.
One way to do this is to treat each visit or customer interaction as a start to something good. You can’t go into a business automatically distrusting the people you’re planning to serve — that’s crazy-making.
Sure, there are definitely good business practices that you can use in order to protect yourself from being scammed yourself, but on the whole, having a balanced perspective towards your clientele helps you function on a more even keel. Your attitude determines how you frame your work, and your customers, buyers, clients, etc. are essentially (or will be) your future partners in a hopefully good relationship.
You do good work.
When you do quality work, provide quality service, and enjoy a good relationship with the majority of your customers, the few dissatisfied customers who make their dissatisfaction known can actually help you improve by providing new insight into the way you do things, while the occasional angry ones who demand refunds and compensation would be better off taking their business elsewhere —
–So you won’t have to suffer their company anymore. Just set it up so you can assure a high level of quality to your business interactions, and in time, you build a rep and a self-assurance that will outweigh the negativity.
Set things up for one-click sharing.
Word of mouth is still a powerful force in spreading the good news. Using share buttons for social media helps you take advantage of the online community you build, using fan support and social media platforms.
Ask, ask, ASK your customers to share if they’re satisfied, to forward your emails to interested friends, to ‘like’, etc. It doesn’t take that much time, and it could help other people who could use your product to improve their life.
Boil it down to the choice bits: tell the customers what’s in it for them.
Communicate the benefits relentlessly.
Savvy buyers become customers because they saw the value in the products you offer. A bullet-pointed break-down of features, pricings, guarantees and testimonials are great, but ultimately, they want the product to help them. They want what you say your product can do.
So get them with that imagery. Make things easier for them. Tell them what they’ll have with the product in their lives, not just what they’ll get when they buy it from you.
Don’t chain them down. Let them try things out.
Memberships site are basically online subscriptions. If people are not 100% convinced your product will help them, offering a low-cost trial period gives you a grace period to court them, and they can breath easier knowing they won’t need to be locked into a contractual period. They can try your offers out without shelling too much money off the bat for something they’re still unsure of.
Guarantees still work.
The fear from the business owner’s side of the table is that people will try and not buy, but look at things this way: Offer a trial, you have the trial period to let your customer learn their way around with your product and teach them how to use it . Auto-responders are a perfect tool fot this; you can send new customers a series of email lessons, for starters.
A money-back guarantee helps you by filtering out uncommitted people. The ones that stay become your customers in truth, and not just trial-period testers. Guarantees also help instill customer confidence in you, in that you’re legitimately offering a clear choice for them to try and back out without a problem.
Cancellations are a fact of (business) life.
While it goes without saying that you should do your best to keep your customers satisfied with the quality of your content, products, and services, sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.
Change is inevitable. People’s needs shift, and budgets too. Maybe it’s becasue of boredom, or an emergency, or just an impulse. When customers want to leave, don’t make it ugly and drawn out. End the transaction on a cordial note.
Use the power of social media.
Sharing is easy, there are dozens of plug-ins and platforms for that. Promotion is part of business, and testimonials are excellent social proof that people using your product or service like it and support it.
Using that support, you can also venture into boosting that kind of reach with affiliate programs — which can bring you to a wider audience as well as help you and your affiliates earn money. Everyone benefits all around.
The tip to less stress on your part is to not overthink any particular point to your marketing and promotional strategies when it comes to getting customers to support you. Generally, when you have a good product, you like to tell people about it, in a “Hey, look at what I found” kind of attitude. When you make it easy for people to support you — using clear calls to action like, ‘click on this to like’, ‘click on this to share’, etc. — people’s own habits of sharing easily take over.
Gaining and growing customer confidence is no longer just a matter of rolling out a good product. Constant, consistent and positive communication is crucial to good relationships with your market, and presenting a good image to the public. You need all three to be able to get and keep the attention of new prospects, and this opens the chance for you to gain to customers. When you learn to use the rhythms of this cycle, you’ll go far.
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