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Businesses, make me feel important

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About DJC

The older I get, the less I know and the more inquisitive I get.

Unfortunately, despite a lifelong search, most of the answers elude me. That said, I love to ask the questions and fuel the debates that will ultimately lead us all to a better understanding of the big issues in life, the universe and everything.

They say that we spend 98% of our lives in our head. I for one would like to use that time as effectively as possible.

Everyone wants to feel important. Successful businesses make customers feel significant.

Six underlying consumer needs present significant opportunities for businesses and brands. These six needs, not well understood by consumers themselves, are certainty, variety, significant, connection, growth and contribution.

Can you remember the last time you called a business and the receptionist recognised your voice? Or the last time you walked into a restaurant and the owner remembered your name? Can you remember the last time you walked into a store and the attendant walked up to you promptly, greeted you warmly and provided high-quality, undivided attention?

In each of these cases, how did you feel?

I imagine you felt pretty good and inclined to buy again.

I can remember calling Lenovo because the screen on an $800 laptop I had just purchased was not working, only to be told that my expectations for service were too high. Have you had such an experience? I can remember standing at the counter in a Myer department store, while the staff member completed her stock report. Have you had a similar experience? I can remember taking an item back to David Jones and being told that taking such returns was ‘against company policy’ – and then having to remind them that consumer law supersedes company policy. Have you had such an experience?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, how did you feel?

I imagine you felt annoyed and less inclined to give the business future custom.

So, what is happening here? It is all about significance. It is all about how important, or more importantly how valued, the business and its personnel made you feel.

Feeling that you matter, that you have some significance and that your expenditure matters is important to consumers. We all want to feel that we matter, and that we, and our money, are of significance. Indeed, few things are more influential in driving repeat business and referral than the type of service that makes people feel significant.While very simple, this concept is all too often ignored. Ensuring that customers feel like something more than a number is inexpensive, However, it is one of the most overlooked consumer needs.

We have all ed the Good Guys and been told an item is out of stock – without offering advice as to alternatives – making us feel much less than significant. We have all been told by a Harvey Norman store that their delivery system is determined by the driver’s schedule which is considered to be much more important than that of the consumer – making us feel unimportant. We have all been told by Swan Taxis that regardless of our circumstances, the arrival time of our taxi is unknown (‘next available’) – making us feel insignificant and inclined to change to Uber.

We all want to feel significant, and every time we don’t, we are inclined to go somewhere else. Making customers feel significant, and even important, is a real opportunity.

Make your customers feel significant and, better still, important. Make your customer feel like more than a number – and you will drive repeat business and referral.

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