Some quick background. I run a small online education site examrefresh.com. We help our users remember what they learned in college and then promptly forgot. We refresh their memory, for their exams. Exam. Refresh. Get it?
So anyway, currently we only cater to those in the field that I know which is medical radiology, specifically ultrasound. Since this is my specialty I have been tasked with creating the content. So I have created practice tests and tutorials and flashcards. The most difficult part was writing a book, more specifically a study guide. So this is what I have been doing for the past few months.
Well, I completed the first which is on Abdominal anatomy and pathology (this was the easy one). My second task was to create one for Ultrasound physics. This was the difficult one.
Well I am happy to announce I finished it yesterday. Yeah! So this is where my latest round of business experience came from.
In running the business I have to answer the occasional email that comes in from a user. What’s funny to me is seeing the “new message” announcement usually brings over me a sense of dread. Why is this? Because my mind likes to go to the worst possible things that this customer could be asking.
Why am I not learning?
The website doesn’t work for me.
I can’t access my materials.
I know I created 7 trial accounts but I paid for one and I can’t remember which one I upgraded.
The dreaded, I WANT A REFUND!!
And so on…
So as I prepared to launch this new product I was thinking about the announcement I was going to send to my list. Of course I go through the checklist, what subject line will increase open rate, what tone do I use to increase clicks on my call to action, what is best for this, or that. How can I manipulate my customers into buying more.
It’s funny how all this goes on in my head.
So I decided today to just write the email to one person. Then send that email to my list.
My subject was a question. How are things going?
The body was just as simple. All I said was this. Just checking in on how your studying is going, if you need any help feel free to email me.
My only pitch was in the Post Script. Just a link to the book description page.
So business aside what happened next completely surprised me.
I started receiving email after email from my customers and users thanking me for thinking about them. With simple questions that I was able to answer quickly. The main result was a rapport that I hadn’t had before.
You know, it’s funny, when I was trying to “sell” my customers it created a fear of them. When I decided to help them and just treat them like a friend it opened up communication that I never would have had otherwise.
So I have been thinking, what else can I do for my customers that will further our relationship? I think from now on forward this will be my mindset.
It’s so different thinking of my customer as a friend. Now I know, my customer isn’t my enemy.
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