The Little-Known Secret To Making Customers Happy

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Donuts are amazing. Next to wedding cake, donuts might be the holiest dessert known to man. (holey… get it) Donuts should make customers happy, right? Not if they don’t want them. Let me explain…

Have you ever eaten a Krispy Kreme hot glazed doughnut? Or twelve? If not, then you’re missing out on a little piece of heaven, I promise.

Krispy Kreme’s app will notify me when the local “hot light” is on, signaling me to drive my fat butt over there and cram a dozen donuts down my mouth ASAP.

I live in Richmond, Virginia, the entrepreneur capitol of the universe. We have a local donut shop called “Sugar Shack” and it’s AMAZING! ?

Their donuts are more cakey, and they are huge. Seriously, I can only eat one or two of them in a sitting.

Sugar Shack has eclectic donut options such as Maple Bacon, Samoa (like the Girl Scout cookie), Sea Salt Caramel, Death By White Chocolate, and more. They’ve been so successful that they’ve opened several locations in the region.

Happiness In A Hole?

I have a friend named Sydney who is an Entrepreneur and Fashion Consultant. Her husband and I go way back (we met in middle school youth group back in the day), and she works out of the same co-working space that I do.

Sydney loves fashion and loves helping women feel confident, so she started her own biz called Chic Stripes. She teaches women how to create their own timeless style and sustainable wardrobe that works for them, not against them.

Now Sydney works with lots of fantastic people. One day in early January, someone dropped a dozen Sugar Shack donuts for Sydney and her co-workers.

These donuts were dropped off in the morning, and by the evening most of them were still there. Nobody was eating these delicious donuts! (For the record, I sacrificed for the others and ate two.)

Why was no one eating the donuts? Well, because they were starting New Years resolutions to be healthier and eat less sugar. Simply put, people did not want donuts. In fact, they actively avoided them.

This sad sugary situation got me thinking about why your customers don’t buy sometimes. 

Why Customers Don’t Buy

How often do you have this great thing you want your customers to buy? You show it to them, tell them how great it is, and really hope they’ll like it.

But then… they kinda just ignore it.

You may be doing everything perfectly. You’re using the best marketing strategies. You are telling a compelling story to your customers, and then they don’t bite.

Marketing can help you in a lot of ways, but only if you’re offering people something they want.

If people want to be healthier and fit and then you offer them sugary donuts, they’re going to avoid you. Your product doesn’t match their goals.

How To Make Customers Happier

Let’s assume people trust you and like you, but they aren’t buying from you. What can you do to get your customers to buy?

1. Ask them what they want.

Knowing what people actually want can be the magic bullet that grows your sales. I’ve found that often people are happy and willing to tell you what they want. All you have to do is ask.

Survey your customers. Ask for testimonials. Test small product batches to see if they sell.

Asking people what they want is the clearest way to find out what you can be offering to sell them.

2. Learn what problem your customers actually need solving.

People don’t always know what they want. But they always have a problem they need solved. When people reveal to you what they want, don’t just take it at face value. Peel it back a layer.

Henry Ford, the businessman who popularized mass adoption of cars by using an assembly line to make them, once said, “if I had asked people what they want, they would have told me a faster horse.”

He’s right. People had no concept for mass motor vehicle usage. All they knew is they wanted to get places faster, and a horse was they vehicle they were using at the time.

Henry Ford did the work to understand the real problem people wanted to solve. Then he found or created a solution that would solve their problem.

3. Offer people your new solution.

People will likely never know they need what you’re selling unless you tell them they need it, and why.

Back to the donuts story. Now I know this was a gift and not a sale. However, everything else still holds true.

The giver thought they were solving the problem of “a tasty sweet snack”. However, if they knew that Sydney and her co-workers actually wanted to solve the problem of “a healthy protein snack” then they might have brought a different gift, perhaps nuts or meat.

By simply going one level deeper this gift could have been transformed from a resented gift that was being avoided into a cherished gift that created happiness.

Sell People What They Want Then Give Them What They Need

How can you start understanding your customers on a deeper level and making them happier?

Understanding what people want is the key to getting the sale. However, if what you sell them doesn’t solve their true problem and give them what they need, you’ll fail.

When a customer buys what they want but it doesn’t solve what they need, they experience buyer’s remorse. This will gain you a poor reputation and erode trust, making repeat business difficult to achieve.

Let’s recap what you should do to make happier customers:

  1. Ask them what they want.
  2. Understand what problem people actually want to solve.
  3. Offer people a new solution to their problem.

BOOM! There you go, my friend. Now you can avoid offering people donuts they don’t want.

Remember, people may not really know what they want until they see it. However, they almost always know what they’re struggling with. Find out what they’re struggling with and you can sell them solutions to their problems.