Selling solutions, not commodities: The Care Strategy

Before we go forward, ask yourself this: Am I selling a solution or am I selling a commodity? We’ll get back to this later.

SOMETIMES last year, I placed an order on Jumia. The order was to come in at a specific time and it delayed by seven days. I called the customer care line to lodge a complaint and the person on the end of the line spoke rudely to me. Suffice it to say, I have never placed on orders on Jumia again.

On other side of the coin is a hotel booking portal, Hotelsng, I use whenever I travel out of my base. Whenever I make a transaction on the portal, I am treated nicely. But beyond being treated nicely is the fact that I am able to make transactions with ease, I am helped out whenever I am stuck. Although I am not the only customer on that hotel booking portal, the personalised attention I am given makes me feel good about continued business when them.

Although Jumia’s products are relatively cheaper in comparison to other e-commerce portals that I know of for me, the competitive price point was not enough to keep me on as a customer.

In today’s world, when there are millions and millions of divergent options and information out there, customers’ expectations are becoming more diverse and it is only smart that an entrepreneur evolves with these expectations.

In a world where an entrepreneur thinks his ideas, products are what the customers want, a rude shock awaits such a person because, believe it or not, customers want their needs met in an important way, they are not out to cater to your own needs. Customers want to connect with your brand/products/service in an important way and if your will, desires and wants align with your customers’, your products, services and/or brand become invincible, almost.

There are a few ways to make this happen:


Personalisation & pricing

Pricing is important to customers. In fact, a BT study shows that 85 per cent of consumers always shop around to get the best prices. In a world where disposable incomes are dropping really fast, pricing has more than ever become a significant factor in consumers’ purchase decision-making. But before that, they want value for their purchases and if the only thing you have to offer is price, chances are that a competition with a lower price will take your customer’s business from you. This is where personalisation comes in.

Customers want to have a relationship with you or if you will, your brand. By proactively contacting customers and by reaching out to them to inform about relevant promotions, follow-up calls to ensure satisfaction, etc, you being to foster relationships with your customers. Thus significantly increases the likelihood of you meeting their needs and most likely exceeding their expectations; thus, turning them in to your brand advocates or ambassadors.

In other words, if your solution is created along with a competitive price, your chances of maintaining your customer base on the long term is a lot higher than when the only price point is the only thing going for you.

To be continued