Go Beyond “It’s the Customer,” Grasshopper!

The Golden Rule is one of those universal truths (do to others as you would have them do to you). You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thought this wasn’t a good idea, and didn’t espouse it as a good way to live your life. But how many of us really live the Golden Rule on a daily basis?

The truth is, we may universally believe in the Golden Rule, but most folks wind up respecting it in the breach rather than the actual execution. We avoid someone’s telephone call. We say we’re out when we’re in. We say we’re busy when we’re free.

Am I taking about hypocrisy here? No. I’m just questioning how dear we actually hold this value. There is no good reason for ever going against the Golden Rule. So what might it be like if we fully embraced its simplicity to the core?

Sometimes the simplest thing can be the most profound – and the hardest to take into your heart and soul, to fully internalize so it naturally becomes the shaper of your thoughts and the well-spring for all you do.

Everybody says they’re about the customer. But if you’re really just about the price, you are not about the customer. And guess what, you really want it to be about the customer, hook, line and sinker.

In our business, we’ve got customers and potential customers, users, prospects, hits, click-throughs, rejects. Our terminologies can seem pretty unemotional and technical. Nor does it help that we are in the position of creating an interactive process of exchange that involves no face-to-face elements – almost no human contact at all! – that is the functional equivalent of a complicated maze.

We want to persuade. We want to make it easy for visitors to accomplish the tasks that brought them to us in the first place. And make no mistake – these folks weren’t pushed onto our Web sites. They came because they have a need they are hoping we can fulfill.

More than pandering to the idea that “It’s the Customer,” you must embrace with empathy and compassion the fact that everything that happens online is about your audience. They call the shots, every single one of them. They aren’t just right; they are in complete control. Really!!

You can’t just pay lip service to this. You must live and breathe it. This is the principle that will guide everything you do, from copy to design to usability into the broader realm of satisfying and humane exchanges. We’ve touched on some of these ideas in our discussion of basic needs and the role of self-actualization in marketing online.

Everyone wants a quick fix. Lots of folks come to us looking for tactics that will help them improve conversion rates, and there are any number of tactics that will produce results. When you understand your Web site from the point of view of your audience – really understand just how much control they have and how that affects you – then you will be in a position to understand how to use the principles behind the tactics to your advantage.

Beyond that, when you have identified the values that you cherish, those that you pursue on your own path to self-actualization, and when you truly show that you embrace these values, you will be able to bring your own humanity to the table. And folks will connect with that – it will appeal to them as nothing else can. In a delightful way, you offer them a partnership for meeting their basic needs, or fulfilling their need for self-actualization.

If your mouth and head are there, but not your heart, if you’re just about the price, then tactics alone can only carry you so far. Can you go beyond? Can you merge personal values with online principles? Sure! Check out my friend Hale Dwoskin’s best selling The Sedona Method.

There are no quick fixes, guys and gals. You can’t just try on a value to see if it fits … you can’t just make it up. It must come from deep with. You’ll need a willingness to examine yourself honestly, deeply. You’ll need a willingness to believe.

And that part’s simple, but O so hard to accept: It is absolutely, fully, completely, only about the customer. Selling more is not difficult when you are about the customer. In fact, if you are about your customer, the sales won’t stop coming.

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