What You Know May Hurt Your Customer Experience
This Holiday, Get Into the Customer’s Shoes
It’s the holidays, a time to reminisce and share personal stories. I had an experience recently that made me think of you, the Sellr blog reader. My son is a high school senior, heading to college in the coming fall. This puts us smack in the middle of college visits. One of our visits included a discussion of college life with current students. Having been through my own college exploration process, the discussion brought me back to my own college experiences.
The reason it brought me back to my own experiences was because the students used several terms and referred to places that I did not know or recognize. Because of my experience, I was able to make quick connections to their references but I knew my son was likely confused having no context to refer to. The students were on stage because they are experts when it comes to the college but neither I nor my son knew, exactly, what the experts were talking about.
Are You Confusing Your Customers?
Like the students on stage, you might be giving your customers more information than they understand. You and your employees are well-versed in your store; inventory, product requests, sales, these are all things that you know because you live it day in and day out but it’s not what your customers need.
Yes, your customers are coming to you for your expertise because they are not experts on your products but there is a middle ground.
Take a Step Back
Remember when you first came into your store (or considered buying it)? How much did you know? Probably next to nothing. This is what your customers know. Remember the learning curve as you worked your way into the business? You had to learn what the best sellers are, rare and limited editions, and specialty products come in and out of stock giving you an endless need to stay up to date. Even with the new products, you have a basic understanding of the industry that helps you understand why these new products are on the shelves.
Your customer probably doesn’t.
During the holidays, your shoppers will be looking for products for people who have a better understanding of the items than they do. They need your expertise, but they need to you help them understand what their consideration in terms they understand. Here are a few tips to try:
- Start “small”: use basic, everyday terms when describing the product
- Find common ground: ask the shopper what their interests are and try to use analogies, for example, if you are trying to help a shopper buy a bourbon for her boss and find she is interested in car racing, you can explain the flavor differences as racing tweaks such as better fuel and improved tires.
- Ice the cake: once the shopper understands the basics, give him a couple of qualities about the product that will make him an expert in his own right, able to share an “in-the-know” tidbit with the gift recipient
Share the Knowledge
Like the presenters on stage during our recent college visit, your shoppers are students looking for knowledge. They are coming to you for expertise and availability, giving you the chance to make a connection of trust. Gauge the shopper’s product knowledge and meet them where they are--don’t come at them from where you are. Helping them learn what they can about a product, especially when it is a gift, gives them confidence. Shoppers are loyal to businesses they trust so do not miss this chance to be their go-to store.
Sellr Tablets are a great way to share product information in the aisle, at the point of decision. Click here to learn how you can get started with 3 free tablets today.
Renee Clare-Kovacs is the Content Marketing Strategist at Sellr. She is passionate about creating digital marketing strategies that help business owners develop successful relationships with customers and vendors.