thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer

Educated Customers

By on September 2, 2009

The organizations that will survive and thrive five years from now are the ones that have educated customers. That's because smart customers will remain loyal to suppliers that deliver high value. This value goes far beyond a generic product or service. It educates its customers as part of the relationship. Customer-centered suppliers understand this as part of their role in always offering customers something they cannot find anywhere else.

Fill in the blank for your organization: "An educated customer..." If you believe that the answer is "will want a lower price" or "will look for a better product or service elsewhere" then you are living on borrowed time. Educated customers are not a negative--just the opposite. Customer-centered companies want to educate their customers, because they know that these customers will value this information that no other supplier is providing to them.

Persuasion is a way of life these days. The best way to persuade customers to buy from you is to be proactive. Entice them first with your knowledge about your industry, then with your willingness to share that knowledge. If you want to be the market leader, show your customers that you are the expert that they need. Be generous with your knowledge and you will create a community, far superior to the traditional buyer-seller relationship.

Here's a related concept. Many of your customers don't fully appreciate what your value could be to them. That's right. Every company has customers that do not understand the full portfolio of how that company could make them more successful. This disconnect was proven recently in a study we did for one of our clients. Customers who were doing business with that organization did not know about all of the offerings that they should be tapping into from this supplier. It was an opportunity for both supplier and customer to get better and to work together more closely. The education process is already underway inside our client's company to make that happen.

Education is the broth in which your brand is cooked. Customer loyalty is driven by appreciation for your value proposition. Educated customers will tell others about your value.

Customer-centered organizations are secure in sharing knowledge with their customers. Education becomes part of their value proposition, which will make customers never want to leave them. When you are the customer in your own daily experiences, you want to be as informed as possible. Turn that idea around when you are the supplier. Think like a customer.

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One Response to “Educated Customers”

  1. Mark Price says:

    It is true that an educated customer should be the Best Customer for a company, but I wonder if the customer simply becomes more educated over time, as the company provides differentiating services and benefits. If the company is too overt about education, then it may be perceived as preaching or over-selling. Education is only desired as a consumer benefit when the customer wants it to start.

    As a company meets a greater share of customer needs, beyond just a transaction, that customer will feel closer and closer to the company. That feeling of customer intimacy is the REAL education, one to be treasured and nurtured over time.

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