If you want a successful Marketplace business these days, it’s not enough to simply close the sale. You’ve got to help your customers fall in love with your business.
Everyone today is talking of a customer-centered marketplace, but when you get down to it, not everyone is getting it right.
Word of mouth for your marketplace
TaskRabbit lets you find people willing to take care of a range of small tasks around the house (in exchange for money, obviously).
TaskRabbit lets you find people who will help you take care of little errands around the house. You can use the app to find help to move stuff to a new apartment or to just clean your windows. If you are a service provider you can create your own listing and start providing your service to customers in need.
If anyone was to talk about their service, it was very important to target small geographical areas and specific demographics.
So they chose to go with Boston first and targeted a group that’s often out of time due to the myriads of tasks that need to be taken care of every day – moms.
It worked. Those first users started sharing the site with their friends, and through word-of-mouth, the TaskRabbit brand was established. Currently, TaskRabbit operates in 47 US states (mostly in the US + London), has raised nearly $40 million in venture funding, and has sights set on expanding even further.
Manage Customer Expectations
The customer expected something, but you didn’t deliver — perhaps the expectation never even occurred to you, or maybe outside there were factors that were not under your control.
It happens to us all.
The good news is that you can fairly easily solve this problem to a large extent simply by managing expectations from the beginning.
First step: Find out what the customer expects as soon as possible. Talk to them, but most importantly listen to understand customer perception.
Second step: The key to managing expectations with a new customer or client is to be thorough and honest before purchase regarding all even moderately important terms.
Third step: Communicate well and often with the client or customer.
Authentic Customer Interaction
As competition increases across consumer-facing industries, shoppers are less inclined to develop genuine and loyal relationships with brands, committing instead to simply finding the highest quality goods, at the lowest prices, delivered in the shortest amount of time.
To change this mindset, marketers must shift their interactions with their customers from the transactional to the personal, offering the same level of humanity found in the closest of human relationships.
The challenge is to do it and do it at scale, but when done thoughtfully, these changes drive authenticity and enable strong relationships that can be grown and maintained over time.
Copyblogger has several suggestions on ways to get your customers to like you and look what’s at the top of that list:
Active listening and proactive feedback
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. If you want your business to grow and stay healthy, you need to listen to whatever input your customers give you in their feedback. This will help improve your customer loyalty towards your marketplace platform.
Gathering feedback from your customers and leads has never been easier.
You can use any one of the following methods. Even better, use a combination of a few methods to make it as easy as possible for them to speak up and share their opinions with you:
- Focus Groups
- Point of Sale
- Customer Service
- Social Media
- Communities and Groups
- Email and Web Forms
- CRM software
Offering top-quality support is essential
The #1 reason for losing customers is unsatisfactory customer service. Ad hoc customer service plan simply doesn’t scale. It might serve you well in the beginning when you’re not too busy and managing platform with fewer employees.
But the ultimate goal is that you want a business that’ll bring in so many customers that you can’t do it all yourself. But you have to be smart about support. What works for your competition might not be the best choice for you.
Ideally, you want to adopt a system for support that you can scale — one that grows with you. With a ready to use a platform like Bulbul that can be easily integrated with Yelo marketplace platform, it is easy for customers to use and fits into your overall business systems with a minimum of headache.
So, no, the customer is not always right.
The customer is, however, always human. Keeping that in mind can help you develop and communicate empathy, which can quickly pacify unhappy customers.
Be open, listen and actively seek customer feedback. Be prepared to take action on customer feedback while jumping on customer issues as soon as you are aware that they exist.
Do this and your customers will be your advocate.
Have an Idea to start your an online marketplace business, build your own with Yelo today.
Subscribe to our newsletter
'Jungleworks Entrepreneur's Den' to get access to the latest industry & product insights.