The goal of any business is to attract customers who buy from you so that your business makes money, right? So what happens when you set up a business and lo and behold, no customers walk through the door? Or you have been trading for a number of years and suddenly customers dry up. You may think you have great products, trained staff and a really good business site and yet there you are with an empty store. You wonder why customers are not buying from you?
There are several reasons why customers may not be buying from you and in this article we are focusing on three business areas that you as the business owner have direct control over.
1) Customers don’t know that you exist.
In order for customers to buy from you, they actually need to have knowledge of your business, what products you offer, what price you are offering the products at, what intrinsic value the products and services add and where your business , your products and services can be found. This means that you need a holistic marketing plan for your business. This plan should be grounded in sound environmental, competitor and customer research. You also need to know who your customers are in terms of demographics, psycho-social behaviour , their buying behaviour and their service and product expectations, in order to create marketing messages that customers will identify with.
2) They don’t like your product.
So you have done all the right things to market your products ie you know your customer segments, you have targeted marketing communication messages that will resonate with them, you have trained staff and still the doors remain closed.
If your customers have a poor perception of your products, they will not buy from you. If you have not made any effort to differentiate your products and services from your competitors, your customers will not find a reason to do business with you as opposed to your competitors next door. When you fail to differentiate yourself from your competitors , your product may become another commodity and your customers will therefore only buy from the cheapest supplier.
Customers also buy products because of the way that the products and services make them feel. If your products do not make your customers feel good about themselves, they will not buy from you. Research on customer loyalty and repurchase behaviour indicates that customers are most loyal to those brands that enhance their self esteem and image.
As a business owner you are also a marketer and your job is to make your customers feel good about doing business with you. If you are a retailer, you need to create in-store experiences that make your customers enjoy being in your store. As a service provider , you need to create service experiences that will create value for your customers because customers buy more than service, they buy the value that is created through your offerings.
3) They don’t like your staff.
If your customers don’t like the way that your staff make them feel, they will not buy from you. Your customer facing staff are the brand ambassadors of your business as they represent what your business stands for. They will also not buy from you if your staff fail to create confidence in your business to deliver your service promise. How customers communicate with your customers about your products and services, what they say and don;t say or do adds up to create an overall good or bad impression about your business.
Therefore your staff should be well trained to represent your brand, and should also have a positive attitude that encourages customers to buy. This starts with how you hire your staff, how well trained they are, and how you reward good performance.