Are You Listening? Messaging That Makes Customers Feel Heard
July 13, 2020
As humans, we love talking about ourselves—sharing our likes and dislikes, our histories and our current grievances. Moreover, we value having a voice and feeling as though that voice is important. This holds true not just in our personal lives, but also in the business world.
With this in mind, it’s important to view every interaction with customers as a chance to understand who they are and what matters to them. Brands that show they are listening carefully have the best shot at making lasting connections with their audience.
Yet, just as any relationship evolves, your business partnerships will, too. As a result, you must constantly reassess your customers’ needs and adapt your brand messaging to match. That being said, there are a few basic tenets to ensure your messaging continuously resonates with customers over time and builds brand loyalty:
Avoid commoditization. Regardless of your sector, it’s critical to present your offerings not as simple products or specs, but as advanced solutions that provide tangible benefits to your customer in need. A product simply requires manufacturing. A solution, on the other hand, insinuates expertise and innovation. Not sure where to start? Begin by identifying customer pain points. What kind of issues do they face? What are their biggest challenges? Then, determine your value proposition—the unique way in which your company can address and solve those problems.
Pivot from “we” to “you.” Too many companies fall into the trap of a self-aggrandizing sales strategy, using phrases like “Here’s what we can offer,” “This is what we specialize in,” “or “We can provide that.” While it’s wise to communicate your strengths as a brand, it is far more critical to demonstrate an awareness of your customers’ needs. State their challenges and present the solutions—and be specific in the results. In the manufacturing and trade world, that switch may look like this:
“We provide vertical packaging equipment with faster runtime” becomes “Increase your production speeds by up to 30%.”
No matter your industry, make it clear what your customers can expect and how their goals can be met.
Reflect the current business climate. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely that your buyers’ needs, interests and challenges have evolved dramatically from just a few months ago. Revisit your messaging as you reengage with existing customers and start a dialogue with new ones by thinking about what unique challenges they may be facing in the “new normal” and how your product or service can help. In addition, lead from a place of partnership and support rather than selling aggressively. Right now, customers and prospects across industries are seeking knowledge and counsel – show them you’re there for them in these difficult times and you may just be their first phone call when budgets open up and they are ready to make a purchase.
Don’t become complacent. Grammatical issues aside, the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a risky approach for businesses hoping to stay relevant. What works right now is likely not going to work for next year—let alone the next decade. Becoming idle in your marketing strategy limits your opportunities to target new audiences or win new projects with existing customers, underscoring the need to evolve messaging to meet modern demands.
The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves regularly and reexamine how you’re presenting your brand to customers. Ask them questions and provide the answers in your marketing collateral: your website, your social media posts, your email campaigns and your editorial content.
And, when you notice changes in the market, take the opportunity to engage your customers again.
We’re sure they’ll be happy to chat.
Looking for further advice on messaging? Reach out to our team of experts at FINN about our new JumpStart initiative, which will help you put the right foot forward with messaging.