What do customers fear most when shopping on the internet for items such as professionally printed presentation folders? If you said identity theft, credit card fraud, or sharing personal information (privacy); you would be close but wrong. Those have been reported as the biggest fears, but only for folks who choose to avoid shopping on the web altogether. As an online store owner, you really could care less about these folks because they are most likely kicking the tires with no intention to buy. They often comparison shop online and purchase locally.
Most of their apprehension is driven by a misunderstanding of internet security and the obnoxious reporting of the melodramatic media who believe one or two instances equals an epidemic. When a few people die from e-coli tainted spinach, you get 24/7 coverage. When millions die each year from smoking, you hear little to nothing. They call that fair and balanced coverage. I think I will take my chances with the spinach over the smoking any day. The news media has one job and that is to scare you so much that you never leave the house and get so bored you end up watching their drivel day and night. This may be called entertainment, but it is hardly unbiased news or information you can trust.
I hope you realize that when you hand over your physical credit card at a restaurant and it leaves your line of sight, this is much riskier than ordering online. You see it is best for criminals to get their hands on the actual card so they can copy all of the information recorded on the magnetic strip. Online companies never get access to your physical card. I hope you also realize that cordless phones are a bigger security risk than your internet connection. It is very easy to listen in from a car parked in the street and capture your information. Did you know that when you give your credit card information over the phone to an online company, they often must enter it online the same way you would have? Whatever the real risk was, you just doubled it.
Down from the soap box and back to our regularly scheduled discussion. We are going to focus on those who actually shop via the internet because they are your potential customers. What is their number one fear? If you said making a mistake, you are correct! Nearly all shoppers fear making a mistake they will later regret. This could be ordering the wrong item, the wrong size, the wrong color, too many, too few, forgetting an accessory, etc…
They fear having to deal with customer service which, for most companies these days, is dreadful at best and more typically a nightmare. They fear having to pay shipping to return the product. They fear finding a better price or lower shipping at the next store they visit. They fear they won’t receive anything but will be out the money anyway. When a customer actually places an order online, it is a small miracle that so many objections have been overcome.
The goal of an e-commerce store should be to remove all of these fears (or friction) so that customers feel comfortable pulling the trigger and ordering during their first visit. If they leave your site, you will most likely never see them again. Some will even want to return but will be unable to find your site a second time. This is why it is absolutely critical to make them feel safe and comfortable.
This can be accomplished through a variety of means such as a satisfaction guarantee, price-match guarantee, low-price guarantee, security guarantee/seal, privacy guarantee/seal, toll-free phone number, flat-rate or free shipping, customer testimonials, etc… Your potential customers must know that you want them to be happy no matter what. Sometimes it is a little more costly in the short-term for you but the rewards in the long-term more than make up for it.
So, you are a typical small business, with a tight budget, seeking growth through your marketing efforts. You have decided you need some professionally printed folders to enhance your image and brand. You have put tons of thought into your folder design and have painstakingly laid out all of the elements online. You have your credit card out and are ready to drop several hundred (or even thousand) dollars. You see the following right before you press the order button:
Online Proof Approval
By initialing below, I agree that the spelling, content and layout are correct. I understand that my document will print exactly as it appears above and that I cannot make any changes once my order has been placed.
Please read the statement above and initial to approve: ___
How does that make you feel? I would describe my feeling as icky. I won’t name the companies (not important), but several in our niche market ask this of their customers when ordering. What this says to me is that they are watching out for themselves more than their customers. They cannot be bothered to review your order and they will gladly put all of the responsibility they can on your shoulders.
At The Folder Store, we do things a bit differently. We inspect your design thoroughly to make sure we would not do anything differently ourselves. We inform you of any mistakes we see, we offer suggestions to improve or lower your cost, and we always allow you to make changes right up until production begins.
To serve means to put the customer first. At The Folder Store, we accept all mistakes, no matter who made them, as our own and we will get your business folders right or you don’t pay a dime. It may be more work and more expensive for us, but it is better for you. Without you, we have no reason to keep showing up each day. Your complete satisfaction is worth more to us than saving a few extra dollars. Give us a call and see for yourself.
Image Credit: h.koppdelaney