When I was a software engineer at Microsoft, I learned that creating complex designs was not ideal because they required more time to understand, to implement and to maintain. I learned very early in my software career that simple and elegant designs are always more powerful. Just like in software, design or recipe in business success should also be simple. Let’s explore these steps to success one by one.
Your Ideal Customer
Do you think empire penguins are interested in refrigerators? What about sloths and running shoes? Probably not… You may have the best product in the world but unless you market it to the right audience, your odds of success are low to none. You must fully understand your ideal customer. 80% of your customers should be these people and you must satisfy them 110%. Look at Zappos for example. They started with the goal of selling shoes to women. Everybody thought that women would never buy shoes without trying them on first. People thought that women would buy multiple shoes, keep one or perhaps none and return the rest, since Zappos provided 100% refund and free shipping back. This model wasn’t supposed to work out but it did. Zappos knew their ideal customer – women – so well. They knew that if women tried several shoes, which are now in her living room and already paid for, they would have a very hard time parting with them.
Make an Irresistible Offer
Making a decent or an average offer is not enough. You have to go above and beyond. Think about these businesses. Would you want to do anything with them? “Welcome to our decent restaurant where you pay full price for decent food cooked by our decent chef and served by our decent wait staff.” or “We are an average financial consulting firm and we provide average advise for average people.”. Offer your customers something they cannot say “No” to. Consider Audible.com – another Amazon company like Zappos. For $15 a month, you receive one credit which gets you one book a month from a large catalog of books. That’s a nice offer but to make it irresistible, they allow you to return or exchange books you bought in case you didn’t like them – even if you read the entire book.
Over-Deliver on Your Offer
Delivering on your promise is good but if you want to convert your customers into raving fans, you need to do better than that. You need to pleasantly surprise them and wow them. You want your customers to keep coming back to you without ever considering the competition in your industry. You want them to talk about the quality of your products and services with their friends and family as if they are your paid spokesman. You can achieve this by exceeding expectations. This doesn’t always require money but rather creativity. Celebrating your customer’s special days, owning and fixing your mistakes when you make them, being generous with your time and resources without asking for anything in return are just a few simple ways of doing this. I had a recent experience with this at a local restaurant. Shortly after my wife and I placed our order, our food arrived but my order was incorrect. I asked for steak and I received fish instead. I had to wait longer for my food now. My wife wanted us to start eating at the same time. That means as we wait for my food to get prepared, hers is getting cold sitting in front of her. The waiter noticed she was not eating and he insisted that they prepare her dish from scratch too so that she can enjoy it nice and warm. To top it off, we received a dessert on the house to make up for the mistake.
I hope you can use this article to better understand your customer and your offer. If you’d like to discuss how to apply these 3 steps to your business, schedule a complimentary coaching session now and let’s take your business to the next level!