Businesses frequently repeat the same old messages. Sometimes they do it because it’s effective. But sometimes they do it because they’re too lazy to change the record and haven’t noticed customers have stopped listening.
Instead of addressing the question, ‘What does my customer care about?’ businesses should be asking, ‘What doesn’t my customer care about?’
Here are five yawn inducing subjects:
Sadly, it’s the truth. Customers care about themselves. Not you. They’re selfish and prioritise their needs above yours.
Take Alpro, leading dairy-free milk experts:
By the 1970s the natural processes we use today to create all our products had been developed. In 1980, the seedling blossomed into Alpro the company, dedicated to spreading the word about soya.
I don’t care about the history of soya milk. I want to know why I should drink it.
Alpro could say soya milk is a healthy alternative to milk, doesn’t contain lactose or that it makes your skin glow. That would convince me.
2. Your team’s personal history
A Meet the Team page is a great addition to your website. With so many virtual businesses out there, it’s good to put a name to a face.
But long biographies are stultifying dull. No one wants to know their education, where they grew up and their favourite colour. The details have been changed, but I actually found this on a company’s website:
Tom is an avid traveller and particularly enjoys Paris, Slovenia and Germany. He loves knitting and cats. He regularly goes roller-skating and enjoys drinking with friends. His favourite bands are The Wurzels and The Spice Girls.
You can add more value to your website by skipping the part where you babble about the interests of your staff and say what they actually do.
JCP solicitors don’t get personal, but instead tell the reader reassuring information about their team.
Working in the field of personal injury for over 21 years, Claire has vast experience in this area of law. Helping clients with spinal and other catastrophic injury claims, Claire understands that it is not just the immediate but also future issues that should be taken into consideration.
Even if a potential client skims over this they would grasp JCP have experienced staff and understand the needs of their clients.
3. Weak pleas
Begging is a real turn off for customers. How can you respond strongly to this sort of thing?
Please see all our special offers
I see this on so many websites. My reaction is ‘no thanks’.
Aldi grab my attention in a far more effective way – with a hint of FOMO thrown in.
Our much-anticipated Summer Sale starts here. Snap up savings of up to 50% on our great-quality Specialbuys – and we’ll even throw in free delivery! Simply head to your local Aldi store or explore our online range below to see what’s on offer. And hurry, because once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Be bold. Be confident. And tell your customers, don’t beg them.
4. Bland claims and clichés
Clichés and generic phrases will not make an impact. Customers want specific details not empty promises. Travel is particularly guilty in this respect:
This famous resort has it all – beautiful beaches, incredible clubs and enough bars and restaurants to keep you entertained for your whole holiday.
Make what you have to offer stand out. Every holiday resort says it’s the best but few mention why.
This Thomas Cook extract shows how adding examples to back up claims makes copy a lot more persuasive.
At the Andronikos Hotel, you will enjoy access to a fantastic outdoor swimming pool, a well equipped gym, and the luxury Elixir Blue Spa. You’ll also be able to dine at the stylish Ambrosia Restaurant for some delicious Mediterranean-themed lunches and evening meals before heading to the Orange Blue Bar for some refreshing drinks.
To find out more about how specifics can make a difference read our post on the secrets of great travel writing.
5. Lists of features
So what? Other products offer exactly the same things. Listing features makes it hard for customers to compare between products. You need to explain why these features matter.
Adding benefits makes the features relevant to them.
If John Lewis can find the benefits of a white tablecloth then you can do it for your product or service.
A simple yet classic design, the cotton tablecloth will drape beautifully over the edges of the table to create an inviting space to gather round.
So, don’t confuse what you care about with what the customer cares about. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Don’t bore them with your history or the hobbies of your staff. Persuade them with benefits, confidence and fear of missing out.
This post was written by Hayley Cherrett