It’s hard to ask for help, isn’t it? We hate to admit we need help. It hurts our pride. We hate to let go of our independence and control. All of that is scary.
If it’s hard for you to ask for help, imagine how hard it is for your customers.
That makes it your job to make it easier for them to ask, or to help themselves. Here are a few ways to do that.
1. Provide self-service help
Don’t make them ask at all. Just let them help themselves.
- Post detailed descriptions of products online.
- Post descriptions of products in your store.
- Add more answers to your FAQ (frequently asked questions).
2. Make it easier to ask
Even if you think you’re easy to approach with questions, you can make it more user-friendly.
- Ask customers, “what questions can I help you with today?”
- Add a large, obvious link to your website: “Questions?? Ask them here.”
- With everything you sell, throw in 30 minutes of free question and answer time.
3. Help customers to help each other
Your customers are the real experts. They come up with ides you’ll never think of. By helping them to connect, you’ll benefit with more smart ideas.
- Be a social media mirror, and reflect customer stories back to your community.
- Open up comments on your website, and promote this opportunity to interact to your customers.
- Ask questions of your customers, and pass along questions others have asked you.
Keep in mind that customers have the same worries and feeling as you and me. They hate to admit they don’t know something. They don’t like to look ignorant. Just changing a few words in your approach can make it much easier for them. We found at our store that if we asked, “What can I help you find?” people would deflect that question. But when we say, “What can I help you locate?” customers seem to respond better. It feels less threatening. It’s not that you can’t find it, just that you can’t locate it right now.
If I simple word change like that can help in our store, what words can you change to help your customers?
Thanks to Susan T. Blake, @susantblake, for her tweet that inspired this post:
“And if it’s hard for us to ask for help, think how hard it is for our customers.”
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020
- Economic self defense for small towns - June 7, 2020