How much information is too much information? Are our efforts to retain customers working or are they actually turning them away? And if they are, how did we get it so wrong?
Our big mistake, according to a survey of over 7000 consumers published in the Harvard Business Review, is in thinking that the more we communicate with our customers the more likely they are to be loyal. However, far from making them stay, engaging with them too often has the opposite effect. Nothing it seems, pushes away a customer faster than bombarding them with constant marketing messages of ever-increasing complexity.
The lesson couldn’t be clearer: today’s consumers crave simplicity. If you want to hang on to your customers, communicate with them less frequently but more effectively. Point taken. But how do we go about it? Here are some steps to start the ball rolling.
Cut the waffle
Whether you’re putting together a presentation, designing a brochure or adding new text to your website, you need to cut the verbal padding. Your customers don’t have the time nor the inclination to wade through reams of flowery descriptions or obscure references to your product or service. Keep relevant facts in and unnecessary descriptors out. You’ll be surprised at how vivid and ‘on message’ your words sound when you let features and benefits speak for themselves.
Position the facts
The more salient facts your writing contains, the more likely your customer is to believe what you have to say. Grab your reader’s attention by crafting a one or two line summary statement that makes them want to find out more. Position this where they’ll see it and read it first.
Be clear and precise
Put your customer’s hat on. What questions will they have? Make sure your answers are brief, unambiguous and easy to find. Choose your words carefully, using concrete words for precision and avoiding those which are too abstract. For example, “We specialise in collaborating with people across a wide range of sectors” is vague. “We work with businesses in the oil, gas and mining industries” is precise.
Use a copywriter
It’s essential that whatever you say about your product or service bears scrutiny. However you portray it, your message must be clear and easy to understand. Invest in the services of a copywriter to present your offering in a concise, effective way which describes your business in the best light.
Everyone’s time is precious. Show your customers how much you value them by making best use of theirs.