We soloists spend a lot of time thinking like the business owners we are. To increase sales, however, we need to think like a customer.
As business owners, we know what we have to offer clients. We know the value we represent. We know that the service we provide is awesome.
Here’s the problem with all this ‘knowing’. We tend to think if we know something, then it’s clear to other people too.
More often than not, however, the reverse is true.
This is why it’s important to regularly take off our business owner’s hat and put ourselves in our customers’ shoes.
Here are five ways to think like a customer. From experience, I can assure you that being across all of the below is a fast, easy and authentic way to increase your sales.
1. Know what keywords your customers are using
You might use a certain phrase to describe what you do (‘web developer’ for example) but your customers might be finding you via a different search term (say, ‘web designer’). It’s really important to know the exact terms people are typing into Google because you can then ensure those keywords are present in your site copy and your blog posts.
How do you figure out what customers are using to find you on Google? By checking your Google Analytics (you have this installed on your site right?). And you can also do what I do and ask them!
2. Have a fast and attractive website
The speed of your website and your website ‘look and feel’ is critical to your customers. Remember, this is the equivalent of your shop front window display. They say customers make up their minds in four seconds or less about a business and whether to stay in your ‘shop’. You only get one chance (most of the time) so ensure your site is fast loading, up-to-date and easy to use. You need to grab your customer in seconds with quick-loading, elegant images, clean pages and easy to use navigation.
3. Choose testimonials that resonate with your customers
Did you know that including customer reviews on e-commerce websites increases sales by an average of 18%! The more information, including social proof, you give a prospective customer, the easier they will find it to make a buying decision.
Don’t just post good testimonials either; post the mediocre ones too. It all adds to the credibility. Photos, full names and company names of people or businesses that have worked with you or used your products are golden!
4. Give customers the option to speak to you
Offering personal customer service can make or break your business. You would be surprised at the number of online businesses that do not include a telephone number. Not everyone is comfortable buying online – they want to speak to someone to ensure you are a credible, real business. Would you purchase from someone who did not have support, contact, offer the ability to troubleshoot or ask questions?
Also consider that by speaking with your potential customers, you may be able to close the sale, answer any technical questions they may have and cover any instruction issues they may have.
5. Reassure customers about their privacy and security
Customers these days are very sophisticated when it comes to reading the ‘trust signals’ your website communicates. So how do you ensure your website is up to scratch in this area?
- Developing a solid ‘About Us’ page introducing yourself and building a rapport with your potential customers
- Get an SSL certificate (Google is now using SSL to rank websites) and offer other security policies to ensure security of data
- Use recognised payment processing providers
- Show your business accreditation (such as BBB) or industry specific memberships
Thinking like your customer will help you increase sales but it needs to be a continuous, ongoing process. Gather feedback and insights from your customers, and test new approaches regularly.
What do you do in your business to think like a customer?