Summary

  • Be consistent: call one customer every day.
  • Be authentic: embrace who you are and publish that to the world.
  • Continue the conversation through the customer journey.

About Andrew:

  • Worked on the Muppets show (the one from space).
  • Ran his own agency in the early 2000s, then focused on marketing.
  • Maybe his orange glasses came from his Magento work (just a little).
  • Has an outstanding YouTube channel, Loyalty Loop. Please watch and subscribe.

The challenge of online

Joseph has enjoyed watching Andrew’s journey of finding a new bank (spoiler alert: it’s not been an easy process). It has been particularly interesting because so much of banking is done online. So, we jump into online vs offline (brick/mortar store).

Andrew says that you walk into a physical store and you immediately see/know who this person is. You can ask them questions and quickly learn what they are looking for (ie, qualify them).

Yet, being online is “like you’re sitting in a closet.”

Andrew Davis

He then proceeds to say something that likely sounds scary to any online retailer: you want the buying process to be self-selective. You want people to come to the website and say “this is not for me”.

But here’s the big challenge: doesn’t every merchant want EVERYONE to like their products? After all, the more that like your products means the more sales we will get.

Andrew puts it bluntly: “when you are for everyone…you do not stand out.” Take, for example, LingsCars.com:

LingsCars.com

We would all scream, “THAT IS A HORRID, UGLY, DESPICABLE WEBSITE. THEY WON’T SELL ANYTHING.” And, then, we run away from it. However, LingsCars.com is incredibly successful at leasing cars (they are the 3rd largest lessor of cars in the UK). Why?

  • It looks different. It’s not like any other car leasing website.
  • It communicates low budget—and for their target audience, this is exactly what they want to communicate. In other words, if they were to redesign with a fancy, clean design, their leasing agreements may fall as they no longer cater to their audience.

“If you have an e-commerce platform and follow all the best practices, you are doing a great job of just blending in. You are like every like mall in America.”

Andrew Davis

Lean into your audience. Embrace them and their values. Make it an authentic part of you.

How do I know what resonates with my customers?

Pick up the phone, every. single. day. and call a customer.

(as the CEO speaking here) “I wanted to call and thank you for ordering with XYZ Toilet Paper companies. I know this is in massive shortage right now. I know you have plenty of options, but you chose to buy through us. Could I ask what inspired you to purchase from us?

Or, you can learn more about them and their preferences by asking something like this: “As a side note, are you a fan of Post Malone? No? Who are your favorite artists?”

What inspired you to purchase from us?

Andrew feels that this is one of the most important questions you can ask a customer. It brings out the story of why they are now here. Why did they just purchase from you?

Read the story of how a famous fan company came to their name (warning: possible language alert).

You need to be ok with this possibly offending some people. Your “target audience” might shrink a little. But, your real, true core audience will become more loyal and love your brand, more.

Empathic copy makes a difference

FYI, that’s jargon for “put words on your website that resonate.” When you are coming up with product descriptions, share the story of how this will affect life once this is purchased.

Andrew uses the example of goofy product catalogs he used to get 20 years ago (before Amazon made the catalog irrelevant… wait, quality catalogs are still very relevant). He compares the fart cushion of “back then” with now. Sure, the description on Amazon states that there are 10 styles of cushions, it is good for 3000 fart sounds, etc. But here’s the type of verbiage that would be in those goofy product catalogs:

  • “Does your brother annoy you?” or “Is your sister silly?”
  • “What you should do for your next family dinner? Maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas?”
  • “Try putting this fart cushion under their chair and see what everyone now things of them!”

This speaks the language of the consumer. As you read this, you are likely to get a smile because this resonates and you think it is funny.

Or, with selling flashlights. Ok, maybe it has 100 lumens or lasts a long time. But, maybe it is transformative for those who live in South Florida and know what life is like after a hurricane (personalization, anyone?).

Write your product descriptions in a way that tells a story AND that your visitors find interesting.

What if I have an old, clunky website with terrible, unappealing words?

“Find the worst-selling product on your website and go to town and over do it.”

Andrew Davis

Why would we try to fix up our worst-selling product? Wouldn’t we start with the best-selling product?

NO! Because, if you can make the worst-selling product sell more, you scored a big win with management. You have nothing to lose. Whereas, you start with your best-selling product? All eyes are on you. If sales, for one day, drop by 1% for this product? Yep, all eyes will still be on you, but they will be on frowning faces.

Be consistent. Take time every day to improve products. Watch the results.

Create moments of inspiration

Don’t stop telling your story the minute they click the “buy” button. Keep the story-telling going.

Here are six, practical suggestions for these moments of inspiration:

  1. People are happiest before a product arrives in their lives. Get them excited about this product. Instead of a dry/boring shipment notification, what about a short video about what this product is like, and what is its greatest feature? Raise their anticipation.
  2. Maximize the honeymoon period. Your customer will likely not use this magic the moment they unbox it (unless it’s an iPhone). Investigate how long until they do begin using it on average, and send them an email when they are most likely to have used this product—ask for a review then.
  3. While they are still most happy about this purchase, offer additional inspiration. For example, this would be accessories. These must be exceptionally relevant and useful (otherwise, don’t send them).
  4. Do your best to present them with more information that makes them want to ask more questions. Then, answer those questions.
  5. Remove the friction. Make sure customers are automatically logged in with their card saved (unless they don’t want this). It makes buying or sharing their information very easy.
  6. Scale camaraderie. Expose the people behind your brand. Yes, your CEO, your website team, your shipping team—everyone. Those hand-written notes on the packing slip do make a difference. I see that my order just helped to put food on this person’s (and their family’s) table.

Don’t be afraid of being small

Many companies hide behind a 1-800 number. They use “we” all over their website. They make the website looks like this is a thousand-person-strong company. But it isn’t. Not only do people see through this, but you miss out on one of your greatest sources of leverage—”We are humans just like you.

Andrew uses the example of Charlie and Jenny on Amazon. He ordered something from their store on Amazon Marketplace. They sent a handwritten note stating something like:

Hi, we're Charlie and Jenny, the people behind the Char-Gen Pro (Char and Jen make Char-Gen, pretty cool :). When we started this business, we wanted to make technology products that made people's lives easier. And we hope we've done that for you. If we have, please take a moment to leave a review. We it makes all the difference in our business so that we can help more people like you.

Bingo. That works.

Embrace who you are. Be empathetic. Be authentic.

Comments (1)
  1. > We would all scream, “THAT IS A HORRID, UGLY, DESPICABLE WEBSITE. THEY WON’T SELL ANYTHING.” And, then, we run away from it. However, LingsCars.com is incredibly successful at leasing cars (they are the 3rd largest lessor of cars in the UK). Why?

    ^ Completely agree! Amazon is a good example of this… for years their site has been aesthetically underwhelming and “cluttered”, and yet they dominate the industry. They’ve wisely prioritized UX over aesthetics. Now granted, their site has never been as off-putting as LingCars.com 🙂

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