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#5.13: The “All You Need Is Love” Issue

Customers want to connect with your company, and each other. Make that connection and you’ll create huge group of happy regulars.

1> Let Your Customers Do the Selling
2> Connect Your Customers
3> Advertise the People, Not the Product
4> Check It Out: This Is Broken

1> Let Your Customers Do the Selling

A picture may be worth 1000 words, but one sentence from a happy customer is worth a ton of corporate marketing-speak. Nothing beats an honest testimonial. And getting great testimonials is easier than you think. Step 1: You gotta ask. You’ll be amazed at how many customers will be glad to say something nice, but they won’t bother unless you reach out with a short-yet-sweet email asking for a few kind words. Step 2: Suggest some text. Most people have trouble coming up with the right words, or they’re too busy. Suggest a nice blurb and almost everyone will let you use it as you write it (if you make it reasonable and honest). Step 3: Thank them! We send cheesecakes.

THE LESSON: Customers will sing your praises if you give them a hand.


2> Connect Your Customers

Humans are communal beings. Appealing to this need for companionship can be the difference between a product flopping or taking off. Hewlett Packard has an amazing variety of digital imaging products — but customers where looking for something else. When HP surveyed their customers about their favorite product, the predominant answer was their “picture blog” — a free membership to a site where users could share their images with other HP users. This simple online community connected HP with the emotional experience in the pictures, which earned more love than their goods could have ever evoked.

THE LESSON: Connect your customers to each other, and they’ll connect to your product too.

3> Advertise the People, Not the Product

No one really cares about the stuff you make, how it works, or why it’s technologically superior. In the end, every sale is about convincing customers that you can make their lives better. You’ll always have a stronger impact when you featuring customer triumphs instead of talking about yourself. Compare iPod’s commercials (showing users enjoying the music) to competing tech companies talking about how much data you can store on their device.

THE LESSON: Emotional benefit beats tech benefit every time.

4> Check It Out: This Is Broken

User experience guru Mark Hurst chronicles some of the worst — and funniest — usability screwups.


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