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What Your Customers Want You to Know About Them

Post summary:

  • The value of good service
  • The impact of personalization
  • How to use customers for innovation

Sometimes, it's the small things you do that go a long way when it comes to making a sale. Sales aren't as easy as they used to be - Customers can now use the web to research information, read testimonials and even read customer complaints. Customers are much more educated. They will be familiar with you and your competitors even before visiting your website.

Understanding what your customers want you to know about them will help build a relationship, which in turn will increase brand loyalty and help grow your business.

This blog post provides 4 studies that reveal what your customers want you to know about them.

1. Customers value good service over speed

Research shows that customers who receive a competent and knowledgeable service are more likely to remember their experience. Customers cited "rude and rushed" service as their number one reason to abandon a brand, more than "slow service" and "price".

And according to research by American Express, customers are willing spend more money with a company that delivers an excellent service.

Customers are willing to spend more for better customer service

2. Customers are happy to pay more for personalization

Researchers from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology were able to increase the average tips that waiters received by over 23% (without changing service quality).

The research was separated into 3 groups:

  • The first group had waiters bring a long a set of mints with the check, without mentioning the mints. This approach led to an increase in tips by 3%.
  • The second group had waiters bring out two mints, separate from the check and they mentioned them to the table, which saw an increase in tips by 14%.
  • The third group had waiters bring out mints along with the check, and then after allowing time to pass, brought out a second set of mints and mentioned they had brought them out in case the table would like some more. By appearing more personal, tips increased by 21%.

And a recent study by Cisco recently reported that more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers are willing to provide more personal information in order to receive a more personalized service in managing their finances.

customers are happy to pay for personalization

3. Customers are a great resource for innovation

Eric Von Hippel, from MIT conducted a study with the Institute of Management Sciences on the relationship of superstar customers and company innovation.

By studying more than 1,193 successful innovations, Hippel discovered that 60% of these innovations came from customers.

By using online tools such as Survey Monkey and Qualaroo, you can ask your customers questions to gain insight as to what you can do to improve your business.

  • What is the one thing we can do to improve your customer experience?
  • What feature would you like to see most to help improve your business?
  • What service would you like to see in order you to upgrade your subscription?

4. Customers prefer brands that tell stories

Melanie Green and Timothy Brock's research found that a well told story is one of the most persuasive forms of writing or speaking available. By telling a story, you have more chances of relating to a customer.  Online marketing is no longer optional, it's a must. In order for your brand to survive and grow, you need messaging and content that tells a story for you and that will connect and resonate with your audience.

In its early days, Apple did such a great job of telling a story that they build up a loyal fan base that has now lasted decades - Great marketing, great products and great storytelling.


Businesses that put the customer first will outlast the competition in the long run. Anyone who has ever shopped at Amazon will know they offer a very personal and great value shopping experience, which is why their competitors Barnes & Noble and Borders have been left behind.

If you put your customers first and focus on getting to know them and build a relationship, you are more than likely to outsell and outperform your competition.

How well do you know your customer base?

Do you know your customers better than they know you?

I’m looking forward to your comments below.

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