Feb 28, 2017

Overcome Customer Indifference

One of the greatest obstacles to your brand is customer indifference.

You may be passionate about your business and its capabilities, but that doesn’t mean anyone else cares. The majority of prospects that you come across are perfectly content. They are making decisions and solving problems on a daily basis. They have their preferred suppliers, and they know how to get things done.

That doesn’t mean what they’re doing is perfect, or even effective, but it works for them. From their point of view, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Buying Is Habitual

We would never get anything done if we had to think deeply about each and every purchase.

When I go to the grocery store I have a routine. I start in the produce section, then I pick up some staples, wrap up in the frozen foods aisle, and head to the check out. I’m in and out of the store in 15 minutes, and there’s not much thinking happening as I throw things into my cart.

The same types of behavior happen in B2B procurement. We have processes, and we have preferred suppliers. If you need office supplies, you’ve got someone to call. If you need to add licenses to your software packages, there’s a process for that.

A significant portion of our budgets is spent without much thought or consideration.

Customer Indifference Is the Default

Buying routines dull your customers’ senses. They don’t like or dislike most brands. Rather, they don’t care.

Customer indifference can be infuriating. It’s one thing to have customers reject you or say “no.” That’s manageable. You get to learn from the experience and get better. But being ignored is entirely different. Your prospects are on autopilot. They’re choosing the status quo.

You can’t take customer indifference lightly. Fight it.

Indifference is the worst place for a brand. Love and hate are visceral emotions. They take energy and commitment, but indifference is purgatory. Your brand may exist, but no one cares.

Break the Routine

You’ve got to break the customer out of their buying routine to catch their attention.

A simple way to capture people’s attention is with a conversation. It’s not complicated. Just talk. Find common ground. Share your opinions. Ask for a response. Create a dialogue. The very simple and human act of talking with your customers can pull your brand out of the indifference trap.

It’s easy to ignore companies that don’t engage with you, but it’s hard to ignore a conversation. A conversation is a two-way dialogue to share ideas and opinions. It gets thinking started and fosters personal connections. That spark of engagement can shatter the indifference trap.

The challenge is conversations start with you and your brand:

  • Find points of interest for you and your customers.
  • Spark conversations that engage your customers’ opinions.
  • Invite them to an event or an experience to facilitate a conversation.

Conversations are powerful, because they can be scaled. You can have them one on one, or you can develop them into Brand Storylines. But the results are always the same. A conversation creates engagement, and that engagement shatters customer indifference.

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