Have you ever bought a product and then stopped using it in frustration because you can’t figure out how to use it effectively?
Maybe the product is great and it does exactly what it should but you’re left feeling flat because it didn’t meet the end goal you had in mind.
Let’s look at a specific example. One that we come across regularly in the work that we do.
Very often, people come to our website to learn how to use WordPress. And they get helpful information that will have a live website up and running in a very short time.
But that doesn’t mean that they’ve accomplished their goal. Not really.
They may have come to our website to learn how to use WordPress. But they want to figure out WordPress so that they can create a successful business.
Or they want to get passive income or share their passion with the world. In all these cases, learning to create a WordPress site is just one step.
And even though my brand has technically done the job by helping them learn about WordPress, it hasn’t led to actual success i.e. the final outcome of making money online or helping other people.
That gap between what the customer wants to achieve as the end goal and the single step that your product has helped them with is a success gap.
Why bother with success gaps?
Now that you’ve learned what a success gap, you may wonder why you should be concerned with it.
After all, it’s good enough to create a product that meets your customer’s immediate requirements. And it should be up to the customer to use your product well to achieve their end goals.
However, customers who can’t meet their end goals with your product will look for other means that are easier.
Looked at another way, success gaps create opportunities for your business. Let’s explore ways you can leverage success gaps and use them to make your customers happy and grow your business.
Learn about your customers
When you explore success gaps, you’ll gain more knowledge about your customers and their goals.
Very often, businesses look at a specific problem that a customer faces without looking at the context.
When you start thinking about success gaps, you’ll look at the context or reasons behind your customers’ needs. And this will tell you more about the customer and how best to help them.
A customer may look for hosting solutions but their greater goal could be to get more customers or grow by 6% this year. And getting a hosting platform is a necessary step to make that happen.
A hosting company that recognizes this and takes action to help a customer achieve their final goal will stand out in customers’ minds.
And when you understand your customers’ needs, you’ll make better decisions in other areas of your business.
Create relevant copy and content
‘Benefits not features’ is a well-known principle that helps copywriters and business owners create the right type of content that attracts customers.
That is, instead of highlighting what your product does in your marketing copy, talk about the benefits of using your product or service.
When you approach your content creation with a success gap model, your content becomes even more meaningful to users.
One of our brands is a lead generation tool, so while the product we’ve made helps users make optin forms and collect email addresses, we frame our content so that users understand that this tool will help them grow their business.
When you think about success gaps, you’ll get good ideas for blog posts, articles, and social media.
You’ll also frame your conversations and sales communication to show customers the role your business plays in their overarching goals.
Educate your customers
When we’re aware of success gaps, we’ll be able to fill knowledge gaps that customers have when using our products.
One example I can think of is the challenge that many people face in figuring out how to use SEO tools to grow their business.
There are great SEO tools available that tell you what pages rank for which keywords, how many backlinks these pages have, what are the related queries people are making on Google, and more.
But despite the plethora of information available at your fingertips with an SEO tool, you won’t be able to use it if you don’t know how to practically apply these features.
Ahrefs addressed this with their Academy content. Their Blogging for Business and Marketing with Ahrefs courses tell people how to effectively use the functionalities of their platform to achieve their goals.
You can do something similar in your business.
How about creating an online course that teaches people how to not only use your product but to also meet their higher goals?
When you provide resources and information to customers, they’ll grow to rely on your brand.
Improve your product offering
Your knowledge of success gaps will help you make better products with features that customers want.
You’ll be able to innovate and create offerings that are starkly different from your competitors’.
In my business, it’s our understanding of success gaps that inspired us to make a number of products that help our customers create a high-converting website and business.
We’ve even built a form plugin in spite of the fact that there are several such tools available for free.
When we looked at the larger goals that our customers had – which was to get more of their own customers – we realized that we had to build tools that led to fulfilling a customer’s needs. And success gaps also helped us improve the existing tools we were already offering.
It’s not easy to foray into creating a product you don’t know about. However, with your knowledge of success gaps, you may just get inspired to partner with someone new or collaborate with another business.
Look at success gaps as sources of inspiration and you’ll grow your business in directions you might not have thought of before.
Customers’ needs form the focal point of any good business’s activities. However, we often limit our vision and our thinking by focusing on a customer’s immediate needs.
When we take success gaps into consideration, we enlarge our view and our understanding of what drives our customers.
And with this knowledge, we can create great content, improve our communication, and build products that help customers find their own success.