How To Find Your Customers’ Hidden Pain Point

How To Find Your Customers’ Hidden Pain Point

The old saying tells us that “the customer is always right,” and successful brands know that there is a lot of wisdom in putting the customer first. After all, the reason your company exists is to provide a solution for some sort of problem that your customer has.

In the business world, the term “pain point” refers to a specific problem that your target audience is experiencing. It is the reason they are looking to your company (or your competitors) for a particular product or service. However, it is easy for businesses to get the pain point wrong or misunderstand what will really engage a target audience member and convert prospects into loyal customers.

This is because the obvious, surface-level pain point does not always address the core customer motivation. To really understand motivation, we have to understand that every human has a core set of psychological needs—such as safety, connection, respect, autonomy and freedom—and that products and services are simply ways to meet those needs.

For example, when John subscribes to a meal catering service, it’s not just because he wants to eat delicious food (although that might be part of the motivation). He subscribes to a meal service because he values his free time and autonomy and doesn’t want to spend hours cooking in the kitchen every week. His pain point is likely a lack of freedom and flexibility in his schedule or perhaps feeling overworked and overwhelmed.

By speaking to this hidden pain point, a meal service is much more likely to get John’s attention and convert him into a loyal customer.

To discover your customers’ hidden pain point, start with the obvious pain point and ask yourself what motivations might lie underneath. Then survey your target demographic and create audience personas so that you can confirm your predictions and narrow in on the core needs and desires your brand fulfills.

Have You Been Thinking About Business Value Wrong?

Have You Been Thinking About Business Value Wrong?

What value does your business offer?

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are accustomed to talking about the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of their business. A UVP, also called a Unique Selling Proposition, essentially describes the benefits your company offers and how you differ from the competition. While it can be very useful to define your UVP, there is another way to think about business value.

Customers don’t actually buy products or services for the products and services themselves. This might seem like a bizarre statement, but it’s true. Customers purchase things that will meet a core, underlying need or desire for them, and these needs and desires are tied to the customer’s value system.

In other words, Jim doesn’t subscribe to a laundry service because he needs his laundry done. He subscribes because he values time and freedom—two things he will have more of if he outsources his laundry to a company. Similarly, Jill doesn’t buy a name brand purse because she needs a bag to hold her items. She likely purchases it because she values the respect and feeling of importance she will feel owning a designer handbag.

Coca Cola is a great example of value-based marketing. Coke commercials rarely try to sell soda. Instead, they sell a feeling of community, togetherness, and happiness. Their marketing motto is “creating brand value through content excellence,” and their campaigns certainly reflect that statement. For instance, the Share a Coke campaign encouraged customers to share a Coca Cola with a person whose name was written on the side of the bottle. Not only did this campaign produce viral video content, but it traded on the individual consumer’s personal connections to boost sales.

Companies that know the deeper value of their product in addition to the top level, immediate benefits can market and sell their brand far more effectively. Identifying and targeting core customer values and needs is the key to convincing them to invest in your product or service.

How to Scale Your Small Business Sustainably

How to Scale Your Small Business Sustainably

“Sustainable growth” has become a popular phrase in the business world. Startups and small businesses in particular are focused on scaling their companies quickly yet dependably. After all, a company that grows too quickly without the proper structure and processes in place might risk burnout or the inability to match supply to demand. On the other hand, a company that grows too slowly may lose momentum and squander all its capital.

Digital technology has allowed for the exponential growth of small businesses, particularly in online spaces. The startup trend reflects just how easy it is to launch a venture with limited capital and grow it steadily in a short period of time.

However, scaling a small business sustainably is easier said than done. There are many pitfalls and challenges that entrepreneurs and small business owners face. Without proper guidance and strategy, they may find their company either stagnating or becoming unstable.

Here are five best practices for scaling a small business in a way that will encourage reliable growth for years to come.

  1. Focus on the problem you are solving. At the most basic level your product or service presents a creative solution to a common problem. Whenever you’re planning a new step for your company, you should keep this problem at the top of your mind. What is best for your customers and what will make their lives easier? Keep your audience in the center of your business decisions.
  2. Start small. Before you worry about developing every single bell and whistle of a new product or campaign, you need to start with the proof of concept—in other words, the proof that your vision is feasible and achievable. Does this actually work? Could this idea be turned into reality? Start with small “experiments” and when you see what works, follow that path.
  3. Know your benchmarks. What is success to you? Whether it is sales, site visitors, bounce rates, support calls, SEO ranking, brand engagement or otherwise, know the signs you are looking for to indicate your company is ready to move to the next phase or level. Make sure you are documenting and tracking this data so that transitioning to future phases becomes smoother and easier.
  4. Give it time. Any time you introduce a new way of doing things it will take your target audience some time to warm up to the idea. It will take catering and hand-holding to help users adjust to your platform and processes. If a new idea doesn’t land right away, give it time and make small tweaks and adjustments before you abandon it completely.
  5. Make sure your team is happy. High company morale is one of the biggest factors of success for a small company. If your team members feel connected and like they are making a difference, they will be more productive and more creative, allowing your company to innovate and grow.
3 Tips for Upgrading your Legal Website

3 Tips for Upgrading your Legal Website

Lawyers are like plumbers. We’re always going to need them. Through the ups and downs of the economy over the past 10 years, the legal industry has been steadily growing, but it’s also been going through some massive changes.

The truth is, even though demand is consistent, the legal industry will not be immune from the digital revolution. More and more people are searching for legal help online, and most clients will check out a lawyer’s website before hiring them. Millennials are driving a lot of this—they’re getting older, buying houses, running businesses, getting married, and getting divorced.

Legal professionals need to level up in the digital space if they want to compete. The Baby Boomer generation is aging out and the new generations have higher standards when it comes to online presentation and services. The sooner firms realize this and start investing in digital tech, the better chance they have at success.

Here are 3 tips for upgrading your legal website:

  1. 1. Make sure you own your website. If you don’t have 100% ownership of your law firm website, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you created your website through a generic legal marketing site, it’s going to be hard to update and customize your site, and transferring to a new host down the road will be a nightmare.
  2. 2. Invest in SEO. It’s all about the search engine rankings. Your website isn’t doing you any good if clients can’t find it. You need a solid SEO strategy and an experienced team that can implement it.
  3. 3. Focus on mobile. Most people use their phones to search the internet. Yes, you need a great website, but you also need it to be optimized for mobile devices so that people who land on your site can find the information they need and know what to do next.

If you’re not seeing a steady increase of traffic, leads and conversions through your law firm website, then it’s time for an upgrade.

7 Strategies that Smart Credit Unions Will Have in 2021

7 Strategies that Smart Credit Unions Will Have in 2021

A lot has changed over the past year. We were already living in a digital age, but the COVID-19 pandemic has issued us into a new era where online business is not only popular—it is crucial. In fact, nearly 51% of small businesses have increased online interactions with their customers and about 36% are doing sales online, according to e-commerce support platform Oberlo.

Consumer habits and the global economy are changing, which means that the financial industry will be majorly affected—and credit unions in particular. As member-owned, non-profit organizations, credit unions will need to adapt to the times if they hope to compete with large banks and financial institutions.

Here are seven strategies that smart credit unions should incorporate if they want to stay relevant in 2021 and engage their target customer base.

  1. Audience research. Consumers in 2021 are looking for different things than they were in previous years. If your credit union has researched your audience and created target demographics and customer personas, it is time to go back to the drawing board. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers think and operate. If you want to make sure you are reaching your target audience, you will need to reevaluate who you are reaching and how.
  2. Website upgrades. First impressions matter. The average user will leave your website after 10 to 20 seconds if they can’t find the information they’re seeking. To capture the attention of potential customers in 2021, your credit union website needs to have a responsive design, be aesthetically pleasing and connect to the user’s values and tech-savvy lifestyle. Simple factors such as typography and intuitive interface design may make or break your chance of engaging millennials on your website.
  3. Mobile-first design. Today’s online consumers are much more likely to use a mobile phone to access a website than they are to use a desktop computer. They are also selective about their mobile app experience. For example, 43 percent of millennials have at some point abandoned mobile banking activity due to a poor user experience. Top reasons millennials may discontinue using a mobile banking app include lengthy processing time and complicated forms.
  4. Social media. Social media accounts aren’t just a way to promote your product, they are channels for direct communication with clients and potential clients as well as a tool for building brand trust. The average consumer spends more than six hours each week engaging with social media, and the majority view social media as the most effective advertising medium.By directly engaging with followers, answering questions, commenting on posts and asking for feedback, your credit union can build trust and credibility.
  5. Video capabilities. In 2021, more and more consumers are attending virtual events and communicating through video conferencing software. In the absence of in-person interaction, video is the next best medium for communicating the emotional and visual appeal of a product or service. The only thing worse than a lack of live and pre-recorded video content is poor quality video content—whether from a technical or production standpoint. Your credit union’s video capabilities should be on-trend and technically on-par with banks and large financial institutions in order to stay competitive.