I keep hearing the customer has changed how we cope with them. Think about it, we’re talking about ourselves. It’s been a slow transition, so slow that we really haven’t noticed. We are so stressed out thinking about what we have to learn about our customers, we forget how we’ve changed. If you examine your path , you won’t be so stressed about the customers.
Let’s start with your phone. What type of phone are you using? When did you finally give up your ‘flip phone?’ Several of my friends still have a flip phone and are adamant about not changing. It makes me think, am I that stubborn? It’s hard to give up something we’re used to; if you’re still using your flip phone, you might examine what you’re missing.
Do you prefer texting to talking on the phone? I find it less intrusive, and I can reply quickly. The same people with the flip phones think that texting is ‘impersonal.’ Texting gives an additional way to get in touch, and it’s often easier. Have you asked your customers what they prefer? Let’s not assume we know, let’s ask them. If they prefer a phone call, honor it. Again, it’s not because they’re old they don’t want to give up what makes them comfortable.
Do you still have a fax machine or do you scan and email? I had to return a document to a national company, and they asked me to fax it. I told them I got rid of my fax machine three years ago and scanning is easier. They were insistent I fax. They didn’t have a reason other than the fact: “That’s how we do it.” Are you still telling customers ‘that’s how we do it?’ Is it time for you to move forward and make some changes?
Are people asking why you’re texting the person next to you? Often texting to someone during a meeting is a smart thing to do. It’s better than interrupting the speaker and what you have to say is essential. Isn’t it great that you can actually communicate without interrupting the rest of the world?
Are you still using the same-old lines, can I help you? Today it’s more appropriate to ask the customer what they’ve seen online that they like. It’s a short cut to understanding how they shop. My experience is that salespeople still ask how they can help you when we know the whole world is online before going into a brick and mortar store. Help the customer cut their shopping time in half, find out what they already know.
Communication is the key to all of our transactions; nothing has changed. What has change is technology and how it is impacting our world? The more you learn about technology the less stressed you will be.
Lisbeth has been helping customers build sales and marketing strategies for over 20 years. Understanding and using today’s technology is one of the keys to success.