The Importance of Delivering Value
As an online merchant, your customers cannot see your face. They cannot hear your voice when you are recommending your products, and they cannot see the emotions on your face when you are telling your customers what benefits they can derive out of your products.
The Internet is a level playing field for every Internet marketer and merchant out there. The sheer connectivity means that you can reach every individual in the world. You are not limited by geographic constraints and anyone can be your customer or client.
This is precisely why you should overdeliver. When every competitor of yours has access to everyone in the market, your only way of winning the battle is to overdeliver, again and again. When you overdeliver, you present yourself as a person with the customer’s interest at heart. You become a trusted friend and not a greed-driven marketer out looking for their money. Overdelivering is simply your only way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You can start overdelivering by providing superb support for your customers. How many times have you been turned away with rude answers when asking about a certain product you purchased? Compare that with the number of times you have been provided very good service, as if you're being helped by a personal friend. The ratio is just off balance, proving how scarce good customer support is. By providing excellent support to your customers and answering to their every needs patiently, you will gain customers that are fiercely loyal to you because they know you have their best interest at heart.
When you provide excellent customer support, you're already ahead of most of your competitors. Take it a step further and think: in what other ways can you over deliver to your customers?
One very good way is to give your customers a pleasant surprise when they make a purchase from you. For example, if a customer buys your cooking utensils, you might throw in a bonus recipe book for them. However, do not use the bonus as an incentive for the customer to buy your products. Your products must be good enough to make the customer buy it in the first place, and the bonus must serve as a surprise element; you must not announce it in the product catalogue.
The final way is to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers. If a customer buys regularly from you, you should send greeting cards during birthdays and on every holiday, be it Christmas, New Year, Easter, even Chinese New Year! Your customer will again remember you as a friend, not a business associate, and will favour you above other merchants because of the warm relationship.
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