What is the Value for Your Customer? – Defining and Demonstrating Customer Benefit
October 23, 2018
You have developed a new product or added one to your assortment, but customers just are not clamoring for it? Even though you have diligently described all its functions and characteristics, it simply is not selling? We will show you how to find arguments to convince your customers.
Have You Experienced This?
Imagine that you would like to buy a radio. You buoyantly enter a specialty store and ask a salesperson for help. He picks up a device and explains to you:
“We have a really great radio here. Besides FM it features DAB+ and a 4-inch LCD Display. Wi-Fi and DLNA are also built-in, as well as Chromecast. A smart speaker function will soon be available via an update. It also offers a touchpad and app control. All that for this price! That’s great, right?”
He smiles at you. You smile back and leave without buying anything. The salesperson asks himself why. He listed all the device’s advantages for you. And yet you understood almost nothing of what he said. You just wanted to listen to the radio while cooking.
Problem: Technical Jargon and Too Much Information
The salesperson in our example provided the best arguments for a purchase from his point of view. He pointed out several neat features to you. In doing so he overloaded you with information and terms that non-specialists are not very familiar with. In the process he lost sight of your desire to just listen to the radio in your kitchen.
Luckily such salespeople are fairly rare. Most of them enter into a real dialogue with the customer to find out what their needs are. But how does that look on the Internet?
Shifting Attention to Customer Benefit
When customers search the Internet for services and products, they often hope to find the solution to a problem. But anyone who takes a look at the many offers on the net will quickly determine: sites frequently present information without end, however benefits and solutions for the customer are not discernable.
This starts with small details like information about shipping costs, inventory status or delivery times. And it continues with an abundance of product information in incomprehensible technical jargon, usually combined with empty phrases.
How to Best Communicate Customer Benefit?
1. No Technical Terms
Refrain from using technical jargon. If specialized terms cannot be avoided, explain them in the same sentence. This way you can sidestep the first hurdle that is often placed in your customers’ path.
2. No Empty Words
Empty words are terms that fit in practically anywhere and make no concrete statement, for example “comfortable”, “secure”, “flexible” or “attractive”. Therefore credit can be “flexible” or a pair of pants, or booking a hotel room. But what does that “flexible” really mean? Is a flexible pair of pants perhaps especially stretchy? Or maybe it can be worn for various occasions? Or is it suitable in rain and heat? What is flexible credit? And a flexible room booking? Avoid empty words and write about what is really behind them.
Don’t: Flexible credit
Better: No payments for 6 months at no charge
Early pay-off with no additional fees
By casting off empty words you show your customer specific advantages. That is not quite the exact definition of customer benefit, but comes extremely close.
3. Demonstrate Value to Customer
It must be made clear to the customer that his problem can be solved with your product or service. The customer benefit is always a personal advantage for the customer. So put yourself in his shoes and consider: How does this help me? Write down the answer and that is your customer benefit. A couple of examples for clarification:
Example of Customer Benefit:
The article is indicated as being “in stock” in your e-commerce store.
Personal benefit to the customer: You can receive the article tomorrow.
A service provider offers “support via WhatsApp”.
Personal benefit to the customer: You can contact us from anywhere. You can see if we have read your message. You save time, because you are never waiting on hold.
Goods can be paid for “on invoice”.
Personal benefit to the customer: You can purchase without risk, because you do not pay until you receive the goods.
A service is available as a “flexible subscription”.
Personal benefit to the customer: You can cancel at any time. You only pay for the length of time you really need.
The shop allows a “30 day right of return”.
Personal benefit to the customer: You can take your time testing the product. If you are unsatisfied you will get your money back.
Features and functions are not very persuasive reasons to buy
Do not use technical jargon (if required, then always explain)
Avoid empty words, make concrete statements instead
Customer benefit is always a question of customer perspective: what does this do for me?
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