By Ted Saul, Senior Staff Writer
Before the internet consumers didn’t have decision making tools like mortgage rate and auto loan calculators. If you wanted to understand how much interest was to be paid over the life of a loan, some quick math was in order. Today a simple search can bring up not only these but all kinds of calculators to give you math solutions, expected Social Security benefits and real estate information along with comparisons of autos, computers and insurance rates. You name it. Then there are the interesting apps like the “How to Stay Dry in the Rain” calculator to help decide whether it would best to run or walk in a downpour. To ensure you are getting the most for your money use the “Pizza Value Optimizer”. Don’t forget the Zombie Invasion Simulator – but I’ll let you figure that one out.
So how about your business? Is there a calculator or comparison application that you can provide your customers to assist them in making a well informed buying decision? Think about it for a moment. During your quoting or selling process, where do customers get confused and need clarification? What questions do they come back with repeatedly? This can be especially prevalent where you sell a complex product with numerous options. Are there questions around comparing your products or services to the competition? The right calculator will allow your customers to compare “apples to apples” or product to product.
Imagine trying to choose a cell phone plan without one of the many comparison websites? Or they can show how the quality of a product stands up to the nearest competitor. Linking to customer reviews provide powerful testimony as to why they should buy your product.
As potential buyers do their research it can build confidence that your company is giving them the best value for their money. Having the willingness to be compared against the competition will also create trust in you and your business. Examples of some of the information that customers may find useful includes rates for services based on options, the price per product when custom configuration is required, what the Return on Investment will be and how much time it will take to reach that ROI.
As mentioned, many comparison calculators may already be available and you simply need to provide a link from your website. This is a quick and relatively inexpensive task to provide a valuable service for you customers. However nothing may exist in a specialized business or a developing technology and it’ll be necessary to have one created. Before spending your money, ask your customers if they would find these tools valuable. Once you have something in place, be sure your employees are in the habit of mentioning your website and the availability of these applications. This strategy will clearly be a win-win not only for your customer but it will also save you and your employee’s time.
Ted Saul is a freelance writer who has assisted companies with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TedS787 on Twitter or emailing Ted@tsaul.com.