Have you ever walked into a shop or rang a company looking for advice and are left feeling more confused or unsure than you did when you first called in? What is it that makes us feel this way? Is it us or is it the person serving us that makes us feel even more baffled and disillusioned?
What exactly are we looking for when we are looking for advice or buying a product or service?
As customers, we often find it hard to make decisions when seeking advice. We need clarification, information or assurance when pursuing help to choose the right option. So, we look to the service provider for this guidance.
We envisage the provider to be an expert in their field. We expect them to have all the answers and give us the right advice.
However much too often, we meet suppliers that use a lot of lingo and give us far too much information. This causes “information overload”, leaving us feeling intimidated, confused or more agitated. So, we really like it when they filter out all the jargon and explain things in a clear and simple way.
We like to put our trust in the other person. We expect them to lead the conversation, ask the right questions and make the appropriate recommendations.
For example, take the situation when we are in a restaurant and are ordering a particular dish to discover they have just run out of it. Obviously, we are a little disappointed at first, especially when we realise we have to make another decision. Yet, we really appreciate the waiter who takes the lead and offers alternative suggestions. It makes the whole decision making process so much easier.
We also don’t like the service provider that is too pushy or even too uncertain either. We appreciate it when they get the timing right and are seen to care.
In essence, it helps to build confidence if we know we can rely on the other person. We are more likely to accept their suggestion if we can count on them.
In summary, we need to remember that customers want help when making decisions.
- We need to help make the decisions easier for customers
- We need to build trust with the customer and let them know we are there to help
- We need to lead the conversations and go at the pace of the customer
- We need to ask the right questions, listen and understand the customer’s needs
- We need to be prepared to make suggestions and give the right advice
- We need to talk the customer’s language and keep everything jargon-free
- We need to always clarify the customer’s understanding and ask for feedback