Stop Offering One of Kind Service to Everyone
We all know that business is won or lost on service. In fact, without enough service, you will go out of business.
What if too much service, or the wrong type of service may also be costing you? When you offer the same type of service to every customer, without asking the right questions, it costs you in time and money. It may even cost you the sale. The mistake we make is settling into patterns of trying to be all things to all people. We do everything we can to win the business. We are trained from an early age that outstanding service pays off.
“It’s never crowded on the extra mile.” - Wayne Dyer
It is true, going the extra mile for the high value customer who values the relationship you have is worth being extraordinary in the ways that matter. The fact is that not everyone wants or needs your extraordinary touches, especially before they have committed to buying from you. There are four types of buyers. Each buyer defines service according to what they need to feel looked after.
1. The Transactional Buyer: “Just give me the bottom line.” While their words may not tumble out as bluntly, there are several clues that indicate you may not need to spend your time investing in the relationship, researching more options, or fluffing it up. This buyer prides themselves on doing their own research. They knew exactly what they wanted before reaching out. They are looking for confirmation to back up their choice. A transactional buyer wants to pay up and get their choice confirmed in the most efficient manner possible. This buyer will walk out the door if you miss the clues. I tend to fall into this category. I do the research, know what I want, and I am willing to pay for quality. When a sales person tries to sell me the “cheapest” TV, bike, or appliance, I am out the door. 2. The Authority Buyer. “Are you the owner of your business?” I hear these words every time my husband and I go shopping. I know that for anything from bikes to appliances, he wants to speak to the owner. He is an entrepreneur who enjoys connecting with his people. He also wants to connect with the person who has the “authority” to give him the best deal. He doesn’t mistake a deal for price. He’s an owner himself. He wants to know if anything else can be added to make the transaction more valuable. The authority buyer orders whatever the chef recommends because they are the expert! 3. The Bundled Buyer. “What will it take to do this right?” I was asked this question by a high-end customer attending a river cruise event. “What would it take to make this a once in a lifetime experience?” The mistake I made was scrambling in my head to come up with a number that included the air, the cruise, a pre and post package. I blurted out, “About $30,000”. He looked at me with confusion. “I mean, do it right. I think you are too low.” The bundled buyer needed at least one more question, “What does do it right mean to you?”
The bundled buyer wants a door-to-door experience that is consistent in the right level of service, comfort, and convenience.
4. The Relationship Buyer: “Here’s my credit card. Use it when something really special comes along. You know what we love.” The relationship buyer is your raving fan. You have built up a rapport with them over a deeply connected and personalized level of service. You know their family, their milestones, and their favourite vacation moments. This is the customer that you never leave unattended. When you invest in keeping in touch it always pays off. Instead of offering a one size fits all level of service, consider which type of buyer is in front of you. When you spend more time finding out what is important to your customer, according to their needs, it allows you to spend less time on things that may not matter. Enjoy the journey!
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