Customers Don’t Want You To Own Them, They Want To Own You-Serve Them
- Serve them some of your profits
- Give customers the power to choose
- Create an ecosystem of growth
- Empower your team to small, incremental decisions
The needs and power of customers have changed rapidly in the last 30 years. Customers are now more informed and technologically savvy. It is safe to conclude that customers have become more powerful today. Today’s customers now form a community or association that can make demands and get them on a platter.
The proliferation of the internet and the ubiquitous nature of social media has advanced the power of the customer. The emergence and the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed market dynamics such that customers unlike before now can make far-reaching decisions that are capable to impact the bottom line of any organization. Customers now want to choose and design products and services along product lines, product mix, and product range and yet expect you as a service provider to consider diversity and inclusion when serving them. Today’s customers are kings, turning to become dictators. It is a good time to be a customer.
Today’s customer wants to own you and not the other way around. Amid this businesses need to be proactive, anticipate customers’ needs, better analyze trends and if possible, anticipate trends, thereby turning them into influencers and brand ambassadors. Turning customers into influencers and brand ambassadors are the new thing in marketing evolution which allows customers to earn while they spend on your products and services.
Empowering your team to identify this changing customer landscape will open up interesting opportunities to turn customers into partners hence making them loyal ambassadors, something that is hardly achievable in today’s competitive market space. Today’s customers want to own you and do not want you to own them. They do not want to be sold to but want to get a slice of your deal by either telling people about your products and services or getting paid for that on their terms. How do you as a business take advantage of this? The following ideas can open up new thinking and opportunities for your business.
- Serve them some of your profits: Business breeds business just as iron sharpens iron. When you serve your customer some portion of your profit, you are technically reducing marketing spend in the long term. Companies that have used influencers to sell their products and offerings leverage the network of their brand ambassadors and influencers to possibly reach a much-targeted audience as well as to create new business. This two-pronged approach is a game changer that businesses must consider if they desire to curate marketing and advertisement campaigns that are targeted at the right audience.
- Give customers the power to choose: The most remarkable thing about human beings is their ability and capacity to think and make choices. As a business owner, giving your customers the ability to adjust your offerings might be challenging especially if you sell commodities, however, this can be a game changer for your business if you know how to anticipate customers’ choices and deploy your offerings along that line. This is why creating an ecosystem that brings customers together can help in looking into the minds of your customers. The internet and the rapid adoption of social media as a feedback and customer resolution channel are improving and dictating how customers want to be served. Gone are the days when customers wait endlessly hugging their phones just to speak with a customer representative. The automation of some of these communication modes is being challenged by the barrage of complaints you have to deal with on social media as a company. When customers know that they can reach out to you quickly through your touchpoints, you can rest assured that may be increasing your share of their spending on your offerings.
- Create an ecosystem of growth: Growth of businesses occurs in various ways and takes many forms. Organic growth, growth through acquisitions, mergers, and growth through diversification are major growth patterns that most businesses adopt. Businesses must learn to collaborate rather than compete in most of the domains that they operate in. understanding the entire market dynamics will help businesses know when to collaborate and when to compete. Creating an avenue for shared services or empowering customers to take part in the marketing and creation of offerings can help spread and aid the growth of your business. Customers now than before are willing to own part of the business by earning from you rather than just doling out funds without commensurate reciprocation from the business owners. Businesses that can offer the customer part of the profit stand more chance of survival rather than businesses that only seek to sell without enhancing the sales process of the customer.
- Empower your team to make incremental decisions when serving your customers: Without an empowered team, chances are that your business will be bugged down by bureaucracy, inefficient decision-making, and ineffective complaints resolution processes. Customers are getting more intolerant and highly opinionated, increasing their level of impatience which is growing the “cancel culture” that aims to bully people and businesses into submission. Customers can also switch to competitors seamlessly in most cases, so little decisions made by your employees might be the differentiator. Leverage giving your staff the ability to make decisions that can aid an enjoyable customer experience. If your teams are not able to make small incremental decisions, that will largely affect the running of the organization.
This is the age of customer worship; they decide which businesses stay and which will go under. Winning your customers to your side is one of the plausible steps that you can take today, to still be in business tomorrow. Of course, we know that tomorrow never ends; why would you want to end customer engagement today?