Help your customers to feel safe when they buy

Previously, I have talked about how marketers like you can add value by listening to your customers. You can remind yourself of this by revisiting the post here  Prof. Paul Fifield talks about how you can add value in his Value Equation:

Value = Benefit – Effort – Risk – Price

In this article, I will concentrate on another part of that equation to show you how social listening can help to increase the value for customers by reducing the risk that they feel during the purchase process. It is important that your customers feel safe at all stages in their journey towards purchase.

A muzzle image to remind you to help your customers to feel safe

Some dogs, like Doberman Pinschers, are known for their aggression. That trait is ideal when they are used as guard dogs to protect premises. But when these dogs are kept as pets, the owner has to muzzle them to reduce the risk for passers-by. Therefore, I have chosen the image of a dog wearing a muzzle as an emblem to remind you of how important it might be for your customer to feel safe during their journey towards purchase. Furthermore, this article explains how social listening can help you do that.

5 ways active social listening helps reduce risk for customers

1. Establish Trust:

From the very first contact, you want your customer to feel that they are in safe hands with you. An active listener can step in to respond to a relevant enquiry with accurate content on your behalf. This responsiveness helps to build a bond of trust between buyer and seller.

2. Provide reassurance:

Customers will often seek reassurance from those they know and trust. A timely intervention can direct a potential customer to online reviews and references prior to purchase.

3. Demonstrate authority:

By listening and stepping in quickly, you can provide helpful advice which demonstrates authority as well as helping to build trust. You can also reassure your customers by sharing your credentials with them.

4. Take advantage of digital capabilities:

Customers might be given some choices that reduce risk for them, for example, the terms of exchange or the option to buy a product guarantee. Listening online and jumping in to signpost at an early stage these ways of reducing the risk can help ease a customer towards buying your product or service.

5. Safety in numbers:

On a social platform it is easy for your customer to seek recommendations from their peers. Social platforms empower customers by letting them seek opinions from others like them. They can find reassurance in a groundswell of opinion. This feature of social media can be very powerful thanks to the use of groups in Facebook. Meta has renamed groups to call them communities, the new name reflects that it understands the presence of a shared purpose in groups.

6. Be where your customers are:

Each week something new in social media can grab hold of your target audience’s attention. On TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook etc., you need to know where your prospects gather and what they do when they’re there. By listening to them online, you can adapt your tactics for connecting with them and they will see that you understand them. Consequently, they will trust you more which reduces the perceived risk of buying your service.

John Lewis had noted its customers use of barcodes to facilitate price-comparisons and their shift towards price-sensitivity, even before the current cost-of-living crisis. As a result, it will change its famous ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ slogan – which has given customers reassurance for nearly a century – and the company’s new slogan and brand promise is to provide every customer with Quality & Value very day. You can read more about their change of message in response to their customers’ needs here.

By taking these steps you can add some safety to your sales messages. You will reduce the risk in the customer’s mind and help them to feel safe so that they can buy with confidence.

My active social listening service helps to reduce the risk for your customers because I can step in to give a recommendation on behalf of my trusted clients. I can amplify those opinions that are given by your brand advocates online. I can monitor that your core message is shared correctly and make sure that your buyers can find the information they want with ease.


Lisa Beaumont Thrifty Marketing Tip of the Week:

Make sure that your processes are reliable and efficient to build trust with ease  It will help them to feel safe.