If your business is struggling, then it's easy to look at your offerings and think that they are the reason you aren't making money. Or maybe it's any other wide range of reasons that up to half of the businesses fail in their first year.
If we listen to the data, however, an estimated 68% of customers leave because of perceived indifference. Not because of the quality of a product, and not because they don't need the product, but because they feel indifferent about the company offering the product.
It all comes down to customer perspective, how they feel about what they are spending their money on and the company. That's why building a strong image for your business that the market can attach to is what set's a business apart, and is what actually generates income and sales.
It's all about selling an idea and feeling then providing an experience to your customer, more than just having an amazing product or service.
By putting a focus on two main areas, you can accomplish this with any company.
Establish a Brand Mission
Marketing is meant to sell someone that your idea will make their life better in some way. More than just on a superficial level, but on an emotional and personal level as well. That can even fall outside of what your company is physically offering.
People like to get behind a cause; it doesn't even have to be charitable but something that others can get behind and believe in.
Tom's Shoes is a perfect example of this. Not only do they sell you a pair of shoes, but for every pair you buy they give a pair to a child in need. That's a seriously charitable cause.
Another company doing this, but not using charity as their stance is Honest Tea. Honest Tea uses the stance of providing healthier, organic beverages with high integrity and sustainability. They boil this down in their name, and with all their marketing. It also is something that gives the people who buy their tea a good feeling when they buy, something that they don't get when buying generic brand tea.
In both of these cases, these businesses have taken their cause (either for charity or the business itself) and made it a central part of their marketing and everything they do. Creating a message in their marketing that their customer base can relate to and emotionally attach to beyond their product.
Creating an incredible customer experience before, during, and after.
Customer service gets a bit too much attention sometimes. While it can help a company stand apart, it's just a part of a larger aspect of customer experience.
Customer experience is seen in how someone browses your site, reads an email, or even how easily they can get to your physical location. It's what their experience is when interacting with a company even when they aren't being serviced directly.
A great example of this is with American Express; American Expresses has a warranty program that essentially doubles your warranty of specific purchases. So if you buy a pair of headphones off of Amazon, and they die shortly after the standard warranty, American Express will replace it for you.
They have no reason to do this, they don't work in e-commerce and have no ownership of those headphones breaking. But by improving your purchase experience, by allowing you to replace items that you would otherwise have to repurchase, they have now made you happy to use their credit card beyond all others. A user knows that if they aren't totally satisfied with their purchasing experience at a store that American Express is in their corner.
With this, American Express looked at their customers and knew that they weren't thinking about their credit card when they buy something but instead the products they purchase. Instead of focusing on their credit cards they focused on the experience a customer has when they are using their credit cards.
At the end of the day, even for business to business companies, people are who buy. If you change your focus from the products or services you are selling and instead the experiences your audience care about, and then wrap that into their overall experience with you, your business will grow.