I was talking with a client earlier this week. She mentioned how she really liked a blog article that I wrote a couple of months ago about the importance of generating emotion with your business marketing. She had forwarded the article to a number of her customers, as well to some of her business colleagues.
It got me thinking about just how many choices we make which are not solely based on reasoned, pragmatic thinking. Often, our decisions are based on intangibles, emotions, or temperament. On how we feel.
The Buying Experience Is More Than What You BuyHave you ever recommended a particular doctor to someone? If so, why?
Was it because you did a in-depth analysis report on a cross-section of her patients based on the particular treatments and medication that she prescribed, and compared the results against similar doctors in neighboring towns? I’m guessing not.
So was it how she took the time to comprehensively answer all of your questions, how she explained the illness and the various options available, why she was recommending a particular drug, and how comfortable she made you feel during the process? Or perhaps it was just how polite her receptionist was when you phoned, and when you came to visit? Sure, maybe it was just marketing. But then again, maybe it was genuine.
Supposing you fancy eating out tonight. You’re faced with the choice of dining at one of two Italian restaurants in town. There’s a place ten minutes away that’s not too expensive, gives professional service, and has a tiramisu to die for. However you’d rather drive half way across town to the business that has that kooky waiter and larger-than-life proprietor who always offers you a complimentary limoncello at the end of your meal.
Feeling What’s ImportantAll of this is a roundabout way of saying that a business today is actually marketing (at least) two distinct value propositions to its customers.
One is the ‘business value’. That’s the product or service that you sell, and where you spend money on marketing, awareness, visibility and so on. It’s the bit that (you think) makes you money.
But there’s a second value proposition that’s often more important. It’s certainly not part of the first value proposition, but it’s most definitely related. It’s how you made the customer feel during the buying process.
In my experience, customers will endure quite a lot. Your product might not work, or your service may not be up to scratch, but they’ll probably stick by you – IF they feel like you give a stuff. Screwing-up is a fact of life, but how you deal with the screw-up is what sorts out the heroes from the zeroes.
Very little is more important in the customer value exchange than how you made them feel before, during and after the actual transaction.
And if you can accept that, then ask yourself why you’re spending almost all your time on the wrong stuff.