Give, Give, Give, Ask!..But Only If They Really Want It

“Our customers aren’t responding to our emails.”

“Our churn hasn’t moved, even though we’ve implemented changes A, B, and C.”

“Our open rates are good. I don’t know why they aren’t acting on it.”

“Our open rates are terrible. I don’t know why they’re not opening it.”

“Our webinars/newsletters/QBRs/etc. have poor signup and attendance rates.”

These are some of the questions and excuses I have made. I’m not alone. A tragedy I realized a couple years ago is that the more involved I get in a product, service, company, or philosophy, the less I am able to empathize with and understand a newcomer’s perceptions, questions, and onboarding paths. Take customer onboarding, for example. I don’t recall what it’s like to sign up for Facebook, Gmail, or Amazon. Heck, I don’t even know the questions I would be asking around whether I should sign up for one of these services. There are remedies, but we are apt to neglect this.

I also neglect the onboarding experience of new users to my product or service. I have made the mistake of, “oh, let’s just do X, Y, and Z and call it good.” I’ve also thought, “well, what would be the best outcome and process here?” The best for who? The customer? Me?

That ignores the customer, their needs, questions, and concerns. So when we use Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook methodology of giving multiple times before we make the ask, is the gift something they actually want, or something that’s easy and convenient for us? Take a webinar. A webinar often takes a lot of time to put together. Here are a few examples of a webinar (the list is short for brevity):

  1. The customer needs it, but requires a lot of work on our part
  2. The customer is ambivalent about it, but it requires little prep work from us
  3. The customer wants it, and it requires only a moderate level of work on our part

If we’re simply trying to ship offerings, we’ll likely choose #2 as that’s something we can prepare for relatively quickly. However, the customer really wants #1. Sometimes we may need to compromise and do #3 — if we have time. But that’s just it: we often don’t have the time and instead of focusing on the essentials, we try to cram everything we possibly can and the effect is somewhere between pathetic and so-so.

Customers don’t want so-so. They want great. And if we don’t have the time to give them great today, either we need to reprioritize our projects or we need to delay until we can ship great.

Let us continue to give to customers, but only shipping mediocre will enable your open rates to plummet, customers to stop responding, and churn to continue to rise. Everything we wanted, right?

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