Jan 24, 2017

Give Your Customers Time and Control

“Time” and “control” are two powerful value propositions. If you give your customers the feeling that they have more time and control they will reward you with their loyalty.

“Busy” is the common response to “How are you?” It’s not that people are trying to gloat about how busy they are. Rather, it’s a pervasive feeling.

Consumers are drowning in obligations: work, home, kids, deliverables, commitments, friends, family, and everything in between. Trying to fit your life into a week can feel like a Herculean effort.

Companies don’t make it any easier on their customers either.

Think about buying a car. It’s a process. Go to the dealership. Deal with a salesperson. Give your car keys and driver’s license to the salesperson so that you can test drive a car. Now he has your keys, and he’s trying to get you to buy. Now you’re obligated to negotiate: either to get your car keys back, or to buy a car.

Two hours later you get home exhausted.

It’s easy to blame pushy salespeople as the problem, but that’s not fair. Companies implement deliberate strategies to “control the customer” to secure “desired outcomes.” But if you’re the customer, this feels like a manipulation that doesn’t honor your time, knowledge, or needs.

This is the branding opportunity. Relinquish some control to empower your customers. Make them feel like they’re in the driver’s seat. Let them get information and make decisions quickly, easily, and on their terms. As soon as you do that you are making time and control value propositions for your brand.

Here’s the neat part. It doesn’t take a ton of effort or resources to elevate time and control as value propositions. You can make major advancements by optimizing the areas of your business that cause your customers stress.

  • Is getting the price of the product a hassle? Publish your price list on your website.
  • Is navigating the buying options overwhelming? Offer fast and efficient ways for customers to speak with a knowledgeable human being.
  • Is negotiating pricing or payment terms stressful? Streamline your pricing model.
  • Is implementing the solution causing problems? Embed a kick start program to quickly train customers and get them operational.

Every time you eliminate a stressful moment you are empowering the customer. You are giving them the feeling that they are in control, and that means they are saving time.

Small changes can greatly enhance your customer experiences.

Time and control can grow into what your brand stands for. It’s like valuing great customer service or being the lowest cost provider, you can anchor your brand on providing your customers more time and control. You can make it your mission to empower your customers and deliver hassle free experiences. The deeper you dive into this idea the more opportunities you will find to differentiate your brand.

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