Encouraging Action: Getting the Customer to Take the First Step

We just wrapped up a month on the topic of getting found online by your customers. Think about it: a ravenous customer scours Google Maps for the closest taco joint in his vicinity. Your entry comes up as one of five perfectly good alternatives in the area. Now what? Once you’ve been found, you should know how to get them to take action — whether that means liking your Facebook page or walking into your store. That’s why we’re here — to finally get your business the action it deserves.
Getting the customer to take action on the information he or she has discovered can be a tricky process. It essentially amounts to making a tiny argument for your business over all others. “Hey, it’s us, and we’re exactly what you need!” your business should be shouting. Pretty easy, right? Except this whole argument has to be implicit, clear, and only take about 10 seconds.

Enunciate value

This statement has become somewhat of a cliche in marketing lingo, but its tenets hold true, because customers make decisions based on what they can get out of a transaction. If you can offer them something your competitors can’t, you have the edge.
A good way to start thinking about what kind of value you provide would be to attempt to answer the question, “Why should the customer pick you and not them?” Maybe your tacos are tastier because you source your own grass-fed beef, or maybe the people that dine at your joint are just “hipper” than all the other taco eaters. Whatever it is, enunciate how you’re different from the pack and why this difference matters.

Be clear.

Having a valuable product won’t do you much good if you don’t communicate this value to the client . Most often, business owners screw this up by putting way too much information on their website, thinking that they are making a stronger case for their product with this extra content.
In fact, it is a proven fact that too much information and too many choices confuse the customer and actually prevent them from making a decision. Welcome to the dreaded concept of overchoice. The trend in web design for some time now has been towards minimalism, at least on the product buying page. Generally speaking, the fewer the buttons and the bigger you make them, the more likely customers are to click on them. (Look forward to a future in which the average web page will be just one screen-sized button. Hooray for progress!)
If you pay attention to the two concepts above, your chances of getting the customer to take action will increase significantly. They are essential and will stay constant even as we explore more subtle ways of getting customers to respond. Think of them as the necessary foundation on which you can continue to build your action-driven strategy.
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