Providing a little (or a lot) of information can go a long, long way to building a good relationship with your visitors. That, in turn, can lead to more sales and significant business growth. Unfortunately, many online businesses go with the less is more philosophy. As such, this leads to less user satisfaction and in turn, fewer sales.
How more information helps your business
More information demystifies the product or service and allows your customer to have more accurate expectations. By giving information in a way your visitors can understand you allow them to make a decision that is best for them, not just best for you. When customers make decisions on no or incomplete data, you may get the sale NOW, but you’ll lose the long-term benefit of that client. The gain of $100 will ultimately be at the expense of $1000.
More information creates less resistance in closing the sale. It’s better to have a customer make a decision that’s ultimately not the one you wanted than to struggle with the decision from lack of knowledge. More information essentially greases the wheels. Once greased the wheels tend to, but not always, move in the direction of the one giving the best and most complete information available. Customers are more likely to buy from those in which they can establish expectations vs. one where the expectations, regardless of how great the product is billed, are hard to pin down.
More information puts more responsibility on the person getting knowledge. Nobody likes for an angry customer to come back to them with “you didn’t tell me…” If you are upfront with both pros and cons, benefits and possible side-effects, this puts the responsibility of the decision solely on the customer. That does not alleviate the seller or service provider of any responsibility; they still have to back up everything they say in their sales material. But full disclosure has a way of protecting you from unwarranted expectations.
More information allows for greater input and feedback from the customer or client. The more open you are with your customers, the more open they will be with you. The information they provide can be crucial to fix potential problems, provide a better service, find new ways to please customers, and a host of other things. Customer feedback is an essential part of a business success. Customers will be more open with their feedback if you are more open with them.
More information creates less confusion as to what, if any, the customer’s responsibilities are. This is especially true in the service industry but the same can be applied to products. Does a product need to be assembled or treated a certain way? Is the customer expected to do anything in order to ensure longevity? These are all important questions that should be answered before the sale is made. This not only ensures the customer knows what they are getting but also cuts down on returns. In the service industry, preventing any confusion is essential to ensure that the services you provide get the results that are expected.
More information creates less worry in the mind of the customer. When customers are not worried then they make decisions quicker and easier, which leads to more sales. For those that rely on long term customers, giving them less to worry about will ultimately mean less customer support calls and emails. It’s great to be able to help customers whenever they need, but if that need can be reduced or eliminated with a bit of information, your time will go into other areas that foster business growth.
Real Life Example
This post came about because of an incident I had last week, one in which I would have been better served by having more information than I was given. I recount this story just as a way to put a finer point and give a real life example about how more information helps everyone.
Several weeks ago my dentist told me I needed a root canal. I had been having problems with my teeth after a filling and they hadn’t been to be able to fix it. So after several visits, they finally referred me to another dentist to have a look. After I left the dentist office, I realized that my dentist did do root canals, but for some reason they were sending me out to another dentists. I didn’t quite understand why so I went to the other dentists for my appointment. Turns out, they said I needed a root canal too. OK. But, big problem, they don’t accept my insurance.
So I shopped around for another dentist that performs root canals and accepts my insurance. I found one and set an appointment. Interestingly, that dentist also told me I needed a root canal, but since mine was of the more difficult variety I needed a root canal specialist. There it was, the missing piece of information. The dentist my primary dentist referred me to was a root canal specialist, not just any Joe blow dentist that happens to perform easy root canals.
Had I known that it would have saved me time and it would have saved the third dentist time as well. It also would have saved me $30.
As GI Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle!”