A Six Step Approach To Influencing Decision Making in Your Favor Part One
There are a lot of buzz words we use in business, especially when it comes to promoting and selling products and services to the marketplace. I have noticed of late that customer service is being viewed more as customer experience. I like this because I believe it encompasses the entire process from the moment the customer is encountered until the event is complete.
Now you can call me “old school” if you want, but I also believe that every person who experiences your organization’s customer experience, has a little video camera turned on inside their head and is recording every detail that occurs for playback later. They do this for a very specific reason, and their review is critical to your success!
The Decision Process: Each of us goes through a series of events when choosing a solution.
- A Discovery for a need or a want: Something triggers us to determine that we need or want something to make our life better. A need is just that, a necessity, such as medical care, shelter…the basics. A want is something we desire because we believe if we have it, it creates a better life or lifestyle for us. I.e. That new convertible would be so cool, driving down the highway with my hair blowing in the breeze! You get the picture. Regardless of need or want; a discovery has taken place and it is time to take care of it.
- Evaluate: What are my options? Who offers what I am searching for? Are their more advantages with company A over company B? Who is easier to work with? These are a few thoughts that come to mind when evaluating choices.
- Research and Recommendations: Now that I know what and who are available, which is best for me? It is time to research the companies and the products by gaining feedback from others. Questions such as: “What was your experience like” or “Who did you use”, or,”Who would you recommend?” are a significant part of the process. A key note regarding this point is that most of the people we inquire are those whom we highly value and trust and more often than not will take them at their word unconditionally! This is critically important for you…more on this later.
- Selection: Choice made. The trigger is pulled, I have signed on the dotted line, I am yours!
- Review: Would I do the same again? The final piece to the decision process is the review. It is here that the playback button referred to earlier is pushed and reviewed to determine when the need or want arises again, will I choose you again…or someone else.
I would hope that as you are reading through this sequence of events above, you are thinking to yourself how you and your organization address each of them for you see; all five can be influenced in your favor!
In part two of this post, I want to share with you a simple six step formula I created over the past 25 years that is designed to help you influence the decision process in your favor. But, before I do, I want to lay the ground work that formed the process .
Customer v. Client: A customer is defined as one who purchases goods or services from another. A client is defined as a regular customer.
I found this most interesting when I looked up each of these words in the dictionary. The customer definition is listed as a noun (person, place or thing) and the client definition was listed as an adjective (action).
It is important to note that I am not talking about terminology. If you refer to those you serve as customers, please continue to do so. I am talking about a philosophy; the way we view and treat those we serve. I am talking about the action of influencing the decision making process described above into encore performances time after time! In order to have regular customers, we must view them as the definition clearly states…a client.
Now that I hopefully have your interest peaked, I would like to introduce you to a simple six-step approach to influencing the decision making process and by definition, making your customers valuable clients. Stay tuned.