The days of information asymmetry are over. Information is no longer power. And Google and other search engines are just getting started.
The notion of the used car salesman trying to sell a “lemon” is a relic of the pre-internet era. Today, the entire history of a used car is available to consumers through services like Carfax and – people use it. And there are many websites to tell you the value of a car.If you are a business looking for repeat customers, hiding information from customers will not get you loyal customers or repeat customers. And as you know, your bills are paid by repeat customers.
In the past ,customers had no way of easily checking out the value they were getting from their current supplier. Today a few seconds on Google will get you answers to a variety of competing offers,reviews on everything from lawn care to car loans, doctors , real estate, mortgage or whatever.Customers do research on certain sites and then buy direct from the brand. A shocking example is for airlines where people search on travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity and then buy from the airline, for the same price or even slightly higher. Why ? Because it’s easier to get services like flight changes from the airline than a travel aggregator.
Educating the customer about the value you provide is a central task for marketers. Here are some thoughts about educating customers:
- Don’t assume everyone “knows”: For example, people in the US understand that for complicated home projects a licensed electrician is a must. Thus an electrician’s website has to merely explain that they are licensed. Surprisingly, there are electricians who don’t see the need of putting this out on their website as they assume that – “its obvious”. There are many exceptions where handymen compete with electricians for lower skill tasks like changing a light fixture at lower cost.
- FAQ’s can help: You know what the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) are. Why not explain them on your website so that people don’t need to call? Consider the times you have not called a business because you were only mildly interested. The good thing is that when they do call, they are more prepared to buy.
- “How to” directions for your product /category can be great: If you are reading this post – you would have looked at “how to” videos on YouTube. For everything related to using software to understanding how to operate a particular function on a gadget. And it’s fine to share a video (that you find on YouTube) that helps your customers to understand better. Consider, that you are constantly liking and sharing stuff on Facebook etc. anyway- why not share with customers who come to your website? And helpful videos make current customers happy which is a great way to get referrals.
- Be mobile friendly: If your web content is not mobile friendly you may be losing half your visitors. These might have arrived at your website via search, PPC (Pay-per-click like Google AdWords), your email, from social media. If your content is not mobile friendly people will leave.
- Make life easier for customers: We tend to underestimate the difficulty of our processes for our customers. Our favorite example is the experience of calling in to a business. The caller faces an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that takes 2-3 minutes to reach the voicemail prompt. Most millennial customers are unlikely to continue to try and get the message through.
Starting with these tips can get things going in educating your customer.