One thing we did when we built our online business was to focus on the vehicle industry. We started with three of us and we each had experience in various levels of the vehicle industry from the mining/agricultural/construction heavy duty equipment, to cars, trucks, and Jeeps, to power sport vehicles.
In order for us to successfully sell some of our products we had to build a story of who our company was. When we started each company sales were not free flowing like all entrepreneurs dream that they would be. So to better help our customers to understand who we are and the capabilities and products we have and sell we built a story to do this.
But the stories are just not made up or mere explanations of the products we sold to someone they are real solutions to problems each customer had and how we sold them. To do this we use three methods to help tell a story in the industries that we are in. Hopefully you can use these methods to build your brand.
In our heavy duty equipment business we sell parts for those huge haul trucks, cranes, dozers and more. Our products range from filtration to diesel engine additives and bypass oil systems. Some of our larger products start at $50K and are not just bought on a whim.
In order for us to build credibility with our customers we need to show customers our products in successful working circumstances. It is within these situations that customers can see their own business and see how our products will work similarly.
Case studies involve using real situations, or projects and proposals you have done, outlining how your product helps solve a customer problem. A case study is an in depth proposal it requires that you outline the problem that is facing the customer, outline the potential costs of not solving the problem, and build a back story of any residual problems the customer might not be seeing.
Then focus the rest of the case study on how you solved the problem, saved the customer money, and any contingencies of possible problems they might not have identified. Focus on how your products and services have helped them and outline specific examples citing and showing equipment in operation at the customer facility if allowed.
The purpose here is to show how your product or service solved a problem for a customer in a situation that will help others feel comfortable with purchasing from your company knowing you have been there and done that! Remember a case study should be a real example of your product or service in action.
CUSTOMER SERVICE EXAMPLES
In some cases a great way to build your brand is to tell how you interact with customers. And always not in a good way but show it in a real way. In other words how does your company react when a customer has a problem with a product you sold to them or a service you have rendered.
If you dont have a customer service problem then you might just be the only perfect person on the planet. But all of us at one time or another experience someone who we didn’t quite get it right the first time. In most cases people are understanding and you can resolve an issue quickly. Other times, well people are just not on the same page as your policy and procedures.
During our online business life, and most importantly, in our recent model we have seen a whole lot of customer service issues. Here are some of them;
- A customer was upset when we sent them a free gift that was not in the color they wanted, when we specifically list that we choose the colors.
- A customer was complained we did not ship his order fast enough. He order late one night, we shipped the day after he ordered, our policy is to ship the product within 3 business days.
- Person complained that they did not receive two of a product when the listing clearly stated a single piece, and the pictured had a single piece. They wanted two and therefore felt we should have sent two.
- Lastly we sent an OE part that was original equipment replacement and a customer complained that it wasn’t priced cheaply like the other Made in China parts.
As you can see your policies and procedures are sometimes not the same as your customers expectations and that is when problems arise. A good way to build your brand is to show how you deal with these customer service issues. And if you can do it from the words of your customer it will be even better.
PRODUCT USE LIKE PLACEMENT ON A CUSTOMERS VEHICLE
Sometimes the best way to show off our products and services is on a customer vehicle. Especially when we sell parts for cars, trucks, SUV, and Jeeps. Customers who send in photos of parts they have purchased from us and a bio and explanation on they used it really help show other customers how the product works.
Customers want to see how a product works, and more importantly they want to know that it works and if another customers not only shows the product in use but endorses it as well, then you have a winner. Customer product placement and testimonials that are unsolicited can help build your brand even faster that you can imagine.
This also applies to any industry that has a product or service. Get testimonials, photos, and installation write ups of your products and services in use by happy satisfied customers.
Remember that adage that a happy customer might not tell anyone, but an unhappy customer may tell 7-10 people. So treat the customer who tells you that he likes your product like gold. Use their testimonial, send them a thank you or something nice, and build your brand on the backs of those who appreciate your good work.
So there you have it, three great and awesome things you can use to help build your brand. We have used all of these with great success and yet we still do not use them enough. In today’s social world people like to tell others about their day, products they bought, and things they like. If you can tap into that and get your product shared by others then you have accomplished something of note, a story told by others about YOU!