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What Makes You Think Your Customers Care About You?

Couple shopping on tabletI don’t want you to read this title and think I’m suggesting your customers aren’t good people. They are. They work hard, love their children and pets, take care of elderly parents, volunteer in their community, and do all the things we usually associate with, well, good people.

That said, they really don’t give a damn about you. Truly. At least most of the time.

Why is that?

Because they have to work hard. And take care their children. And spend time with elderly parents or relatives. And volunteer in their community.

In a word, they’re busy.

The only time they care about you is when you help them solve a problem. And not just any problem; their problem.[1]

Again, that doesn’t make them bad people by any stretch. They’ve just got a lot to do.

Your job is to solve your customers’ problem. Quickly. Easily. Painlessly. So that they can get on with the many, many things they need to do every single day.

A fair bit of the time, your customers turn to the Internet for help. They use search to look into solutions. They ask friends and colleagues in their social networks. They subscribe to emails and blogs for more information. They read web pages and PDF’s and FAQ’s and all sorts of other TLA’s[2] to learn what the right answer is.

When people write negative reviews about the service they receive online, it’s because it was too hard to find the right answer for their needs. You didn’t have a website. Your product photos were crappy. The checkout process was terrible or, for mobile customers, completely unusable.

So, ask yourself this: “Does my website do everything it can to help my customers solve their problems, quickly, easily, painlessly?”

Even better, ask your customers. Explore testing tools like and conduct A/B tests to see what helps your customers succeed. (You can ask nice people like me for help with this, too).

Because here’s the thing: They don’t care about you if you can’t solve their problem. And if your customers’ answer to the “quickly, easily, painlessly” question is anything short a resounding yes, they won’t be your customers at all.

My presentation, “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline,” looks at how the web changes your customers’ behaviors—and how you can keep up with those changes:

And, if you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Footnote 1. I use the word “problem” here loosely. Finding a great place to go on vacation or a beautiful diamond engagement ring or a new big screen TV is actually fun for most consumers; many enjoy “previewing” the experience, imagining what it will be like once they’ve accomplished their goal. But, your job still is to make it easy.

Footnote 2. That’s “three-letter acronym” in case you’re curious.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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