Understanding the Customer Problem - Call Center

Scott Underhill

Understanding the Customer Problem

Selling has more to do with the customer problem than it is does with the product you are selling. You are selling a solution to their problem, not just a product in its own right. Investigating the customer's problem will give you a deeper understanding of converting it into a solution.

Audience Campaign Managers

Outcome Understanding the customer problem

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Define the Problem

The customer problem is the most important aspect when creating the script. The more you understand the customer problem, the specifics and the industry, the more you will understand how to articulate the solutions and the benefits.

Example: Selling Solar Panels.

I need to improve my carbon credits.Business
I have very large overheads for electricity in my business.Warehouse/Industry
I want to save on electricity, but I have irregular cash flow.IndustryPayback Package
I want to save on electricity, but I do not have skills to install the panels.IndustryInstallation Package
Many more...

The first stage is to look at what you have, and how it relates to the customer's problems. This can be done at a high level or can get very detailed. Every customer's domain will have their own set of problems, and hence may potentially have their own pitch. In many situations, there will be a potential overlap between customer problems in different domains.

It is important to score the value of your problems, in terms of the size of the market and also the importance of the problem. An example of this might be carbon credits. This might just be a 'nice to have' solution, and the value might not be high enough to interest the customer.

Industry/Group Focus

Throughout the process, industries are going to be important in terms of the terminology you use, and who you're going to call. You will be evaluating the customer problems, alongside the associated size and value. Performing this analysis will lead you to groups of industries that you can focus and execute on. In B2C campaigns, the industry will be associated to your primary grouping (e.g. age, gender, location).

The outcome of this exercise will be a group of industries that you want to focus on and target.

Target Market

The target market is an extension of the industries. In the industries that have been selected, what shared characteristics do they have? For example, are they of a similar size and revenue?

These attributes will assist in breaking the data down into characteristic types, which can be used to better understand the script, who to target and how to sell to these customers. The characteristics should be described in terms of the attribute's importance and how it will be described. For example/ Monthly Revenue as a range: [0 - 10,000],[10,000 - 100,0000], [100,000+]

Deriving Solutions

Going back to the example of solar panels, we all know that saving the environment is a good thing, and that we should try to do it. But is that a solution to a problem?

In most cases, it is just a benefit of the product. The true solution is that you will reduce your electricity cost by 80%.

A single customer problem might have multiple solutions. This is fine, but when you have limited time on the call, you will generally only be able to pitch a single solution. For each problem that you consider to have value, create a single or multiple solutions for your problem.

If you come up with attributes similar such as saving the environment, this should be classified as a benefit. These are all secondary convincing items, as they are of less importance to the prospective customer.

Note: There is a difference in this process when thinking about agents vs sales people. An agent's objective is to pre-qualify, not to sell. Having said that, it is vital to capture the interest of the customer.

Creating Your Tests

At this point, you should have:

  • Target Industry
  • Target Market
  • High Value Problems
  • Solution for Problems
  • Benefits

    This will be the basis of creating your script. In the script creation stage, you might want to check your ideas. You can:

  • Create multiple scripts based on the specific target markets
  • Test your script by swapping the customer problems and solutions, then measuring the impact
  • Checking your benefits statements
  • At this point you can perform A/B Testing

Next: Creating a script