It’s one thing to bring a potential customer “in the door,” but transforming them from a potential customer into a LustomerTM (Lustomer = a customer who wants your success because you help them succeed) is a whole different ball game. While your marketing, branding, and sometimes just your product or service alone might generate interest, it is your customer service that will ultimately help you hit that home run. What does it take to turn your customers into Lustomers? What does it take to keep them not only coming back but telling their friends and colleagues about their amazing experience?
Every interaction matters
Listening to the customer is the first and most critical step to generating repeat sales and advocates for your brand. When you want to build a relationship between seller and buyer—through a live salesperson, your website, social media, a phone call, a chatbot, or messaging service—ensure you’re hearing your customer, and not pushing a predetermined solution on them.
Starting with a conversation shows customers you are listening to their problem and want to help solve it. It seems simple but too often the opposite happens. I thought of this when a college friend who recently bought a new home shared her story of shopping for a pellet stove to supplement her oil heat. She went to four different stores before making her purchase–not comparing prices or features, but because of how she was treated.
“At the first store, the salesperson—a male in this case—treated me like I should have brought in my husband, so he could talk to him instead.
The second store acted like they didn’t care if I bought a stove or not.
The third store didn’t even ask questions, just told me I had to go with a specific stove and that it wouldn’t be in for eight weeks. There was no conversation around what I might even like.
The fourth store treated me like an adult! They let me play with the stoves to see how they worked. They respected my questions. Even better, they had just received a shipment of eight of the stoves I wanted (previously there had been a three- to four-month waiting list). It is pretty easy to guess who got my business.”
How many of us have experienced a similar situation where we don’t feel heard or in some cases that the salesperson doesn’t even care? It’s frustrating. We can’t feel like the answer proposed will fit us unless we know the seller understands the “why” of our buying journey. So, are YOUR customers being listened to? Are they getting the best possible service?
Audience-focused, benefit-led communication
To turn a customer into a Lustomer starts with making sure that they feel seen and heard. This means being audience-focused—listening to their questions, answering those questions, and hearing what they’re saying. In the case of my friend, at the first few stores she felt unwelcome, and the third place had answers before she could even ask questions or discuss her situation. The fourth place actually listened and was the only one that took her seriously, making sure she was seen and heard. Not only did they get her business, but look how she so readily told her story to friends and family (as we are doing here), continuing to promote the “just right” retailer who took the time to hear her.
Listening to your customers might even lead you down a different path than expected, opening the doors for larger opportunities than you’d anticipated. And when you answer each customer’s questions by taking a benefits-led approach, showing the value of your products or services in their use-case, you show how you will meet that customer’s needs.
Turn your team into customer ❤️ gurus
How can you turn prospects into customers, and customers into Lustomers? For starters, help sellers, marketers, and customer support professionals hone their craft.
A few ideas include:
- Listen mindfully to your customers, taking note of patterns so you can put them to work. For example, when you notice that most customers have the same questions, perceptions, or misperceptions, create FAQs and product briefs that explore the answers and generate dialogue between salesperson and customer.
- Create open dialogue within your organization to document and discuss customer experiences. These customer experiences can be great learning and training opportunities, so your team feels better prepared for a similar situation with the next customer.
In addition, programs from experts can help generate new perspectives and ideas for your team. 3C Communications offers half- and full-day workshops to help your teams communicate better and build solid, lasting customer relationships. If this could be helpful for you, contact us for a no-strings conversation.
Generating customer ❤️ and ultimately turning your customers into Lustomers comes down to customer service as the measure of success or failure. Set your team up for success!