In my varied past, I spent some time on stage as a professional opera singer, a wonderful and enriching experience. One thing I learned was that during the curtain call when there was applause (assuming you got applause), you never wanted to let the applause die down before leaving the stage. Really it was ideal to leave when the applause reached its apex and therefore leave the audience wanting more of you. They were never quite satisfied and probably would be talking about you for some time after leaving the show. It’s the same reason that no matter how hard you scream for an encore, you never get to hear that one more song.
You may wonder how this relates to an effort to market and promote your business.
Let’s make sure that we’re not confusing what someone wants with what someone needs. If you start to leave people needing more, than your product or service is not providing what is necessary to sustain the consuming experience and it is likely that you will lose that customer. Meeting the market’s needs is fundamental to having a product or service that is worth anything at all.
What I’m emphasizing here are wants. A fundamental rule learned in every Economics 101 course is, “Man has insatiable wants and desires.” The statement didn’t say insatiable needs. Every human on earth has basic needs: we need to eat, we need to work, we need adequate health care, we need shelter, we need clothing, etc. Meet the needs and you’ll be okay, but probably not hugely successful, nor will you likely be able to sustain much growth.
What is imperative is that you are able to find how you can leave your customers or clients “wanting” more. And this really begins with their initial exposure to you, say through your website, and goes clear through the lifecycle of that consuming experience. Seth Godin in “Embracing Lifetime Value” reiterates how important it is for you to be able to quantify the value of that lifetime experience in order to understand what resources need to go into the relationship. You can then keep them coming back for more.
So, how do you make sure that your customers or clients leave with what they need but leave definitely wanting more?
- Make sure your website landing page tells them exactly what they need to know, no more. I believe that it is imperative to give enough information to fulfill the promise of the ad or email that drove them to your site’s landing page, but there is no reason to go beyond that. If they need more information, provide an easy means for them to contact you so you can enter into a direct dialog, either by phone or chat, which as most salespersons will tell you, is how you can overcome objections and secure the sale.
- Try to invite questions that will cause them to engage with your site, with your brand or with you by picking up the phone. The key to consumer loyalty is the ability for them to directly engage in your brand. Many marketers profess that companies no longer really have control over their brand with the new social media tools. You may as well accept this fact and make it as easy as possible, plus it will help you learn about what your customer needs or maybe even wants.
- Regularly add new, relevant content to your website so people will want to come back and see what’s new. This seems so obvious but I can’t tell you how many business owners build a really nice website and then never touch it for months and months. Not a good idea. Fresh content will also help improve search results.
- Make sure you are enhancing or adding features to your product or service, something your competition isn’t. This also seems obvious but it’s easy to become somewhat complacent as you start to have some success and forget about what improvements could be made to what you offer. Always be innovating.
- Constantly tell them how much you appreciate their business. Everyone loves to be appreciated and I believe this is rapidly becoming a lost art. Loyalty comes by making sure to say “thank you.” Reward loyalty through offers that entice them to come back. Make it lucrative for them to refer you to their network of contacts.
Leave them needing more and you’ll lose them. Leave them wanting more and they’ll come back.
Let me know your thoughts.