No, I’m not talking about search engine optimization.
I’m talking about a much more important, much more universal SEO.
I’m talking about Shopper Experience Optimization (I also call it CEO – customer experience optimization).
You See, I Believe…
that consumers buy experiences, not products.
An awesome experience will always win when two products are similar. This is mostly because when the experience is better, the product seems better (regardless of technical specs).
What Is Customer Experience?
In the traditional marketing mix, Product and Place combine to create the experience. In the extended marketing mix, you can also throw in Process, People, and Physical Evidence.
Further, I think that promotion is only truly effective if you provide a kick-ass experience, and price is controlled for the most part by the experience you provide.
How to SEO in Real Life
Don’t worry. It’s not that complicated.
Most entrepreneurs ask their customers if they were “satisfied” with their purchase.
But when you ask a customer if they’re satisfied, you’re implying that you’re willing to settle for a less-than-perfect experience.
Stop worrying about selling a “satisfying” product. Aim to deliver a kick-ass experience.
Instead of asking your customers if they’re satisfied, start asking them how you can improve their experience.
This accomplishes a couple of things:
- The customer will trust you more because they feel cared for.
- The customer will feel invested in your brand because they are helping improve it.
Notice that it’s the question itself that improves the experience. All you have to do is show them you care.
That’s what real world SEO is all about: building trust with your consumers.
A Challenge For 2012
If there’s one change you make in your marketing for 2012, it should be this:
Listen more to your customers and commit more resources to improving their experience (as opposed to selling your product).
It’s a simple concept, but I think it’ll make a big difference in your business.
It’s Your Turn
What do you do to make your customers’ experience out of this world? Share in the comments!