person dealing with customer objections

How to Discover and Resolve Your Customer Objections

Digital experiences are just as likely as in-person encounters to encounter common sales objections. Here’s how you can learn to listen to your customers, understand their feedback, and resolve concerns.

If you’ve seen an infomercial, you know all about trying to overcome the objections of potential customers.

  • “But doesn’t this Chia Pet require constant watering?”
  • “Surely I’m going to have to sharpen this Ginsu knife again and again.”
  • “Are you really saying that if I’ve fallen and I can’t get up, all I need to do is press a button? That seems too easy.”
  • “I just need to clap to turn the lights on? Surely there’s a switch I need to flip.”

When it comes to selling anything, there will always be objections to overcome. Customers have reservations and questions that keep them from purchasing. It’s a normal part of any shopping experience.

This is nothing new. Before David Ogilvy became an advertising legend, he earned his stripes by selling pressure cookers. He wrote about the lessons he learned in a book titled “The Theory and Practice Of Selling The AGA Cooker.”

In the book, he taught prospective salesmen how to overcome objections such as “It’s too big for my kitchen” and “I’m only renting my present house,” both common objections in the 1930s.

And while Ogilvy’s book may not have been a bestseller, it gives us at least two valuable insights into overcoming objects.

  1. You need to know the objections if you’re going to overcome them
  2. Once you know the objections, you can meet them head-on

These two insights are even more critical for digital products since you’re not usually talking with customers face-to-face and hearing their objections. You need a proven strategy for unearthing potential objections and then overcoming them.

This article aims to help with that. We’ll cover:

  • The primary types of customer objections
  • How to identify the objections of your specific customers
  • How to overcome those objections

What Are Customer Objections?

At the risk of stating the obvious, let’s ensure we’re all on the same page regarding customer objections.

Customer objections are concerns that cause them to hesitate (at best) and abandon (at worst) during the digital purchase experience.

People want to be sure they’re making the right choice. We’ve all been burned by products that seemed too good to be true—the “amazing” deal that turned out to be a dud or that trendy product made out of inferior materials.

With hundreds of years of snake oil and used car salesmen informing customer opinions, you need to be willing to meet customers where they are by addressing objections head-on.

Why You Need To Understand Your Customer’s Objections

Every customer objection is friction on the path to purchasing. Most customers are risk-averse; therefore, the more objections they have, the more risk they feel when purchasing, and the less likely they are to hit that “Buy” or “Subscribe” button.

And here’s the bottom line: overcoming objections isn’t an end in itself, but it is a way of ultimately improving the customer experience and increasing sales.

Let’s be clear though, it’s not enough to merely address generic objections. You need to address the specific objections of your customers. Some objections are unique to your customers and tied specifically to your products and company, so any “list of customer objections” won’t suffice. You must conduct your own research to understand your unique customers.

And make sure you do this early and often! As Leslie Ye at HubSpot notes:

“Nothing is more dangerous to a deal than letting sales objections go unaddressed until the final stages. The longer the buyer holds an opinion, the stronger that opinion usually is – and the harder you’ll have to fight to combat it.”

Identify objections and address them early on, and you’ll be on your way to optimizing your digital sales funnel.

How To Identify Your Unique Customer Objections

It’s easy to think that you know your customers and their objections, but unless you actively study your audience, there’s a good chance that there are dozens of objections you’re unaware of.

Consider a few of these strategies to uncover your customers’ unique concerns.

#1 – Research

There are several ways you can conduct audience research to help identify the specific objections they have. Some effective methods include surveys, customer interviews, and analyzing website data. For a deeper dive into customer research strategies, check out our e-book on the topic.

But when it comes to understanding customer objections, here are a few relevant considerations:

Conduct User Research
User research is a structured way to find out why users take certain actions. It uncovers user behaviors, motivations, and pain points as they interact with your website or digital product. Going beyond gut feelings or assumptions, it uses a variety of methods to glean actionable insights directly from users. This knowledge enables you to create a product or website that truly caters to customer needs and expectations.

User research is the umbrella term that user testing falls under. User research can also refer to other research methods, such as focus groups, interviews, and surveys.

Beyond understanding customer objections, the biggest benefits of user research include:

  • Getting outside the jar
  • Knowing what to improve (instead of guessing)
  • Providing better customer-centric experiences

Collect User Behavior Data
Installing a tool like Hotjar on your site allows you to see visual reports of your top site pages, and see what content users interact with. Heatmaps can add context to site analytics like time on page, exit pages, and funnel dropoff data. This helps uncover what content on your site demands the attention of users and what might be overlooked.

Determine Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is a management tool that allows you to determine how loyal your customers are. Scores range from -100 (everyone is a detractor) to +100 (everyone is a promoter). It’s essentially a metric that measures your overall relationship with your customers.

NPS survey

NPS is typically calculated based on how customers respond to a single question: How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

Anything over a 9 is considered a promoter, those under 6 are considered detractors, and those between 7-8 are considered passives.

Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters – % of Detractors

After the customer responds, they are typically asked a series of open-ended survey questions to bring clarity to their answer.

These questions can include:

  • How did you first hear about our company/product?
  • What are the three biggest things you dislike about our products?
  • How can we improve your experience?
  • What features do you value the most?
  • How would you describe our products to a friend?
  • What are our products missing?
  • What are three things that almost stopped you from using our products?

By asking these types of highly specific questions, you can get a good sense of the common objections your customers have.

#2 – Chat

If you have a chat function on your site, you’re sitting on a gold mine when it comes to determining customer objections. You can methodically go through the chat logs and highlight the specific questions, objections, and problems that come up repeatedly. Then, you can compile those objections and create a plan for answering them.

Tymo chat function addressing customer objections

This is also a good opportunity to address whether your chat adds to or interrupts the customer experience. While it can offer great insights into your customers’ main concerns, it shouldn’t interrupt the shopping experience by popping up without being requested.

#3 – Feedback Form On Your Website

When do customers typically use feedback forms? When they encounter a problem. The information submitted through these forms can be incredibly helpful in identifying points of friction in the sale process and addressing follow-up questions. Are there common problems your customers are mentioning in feedback forms? Those are objections to overcome.

#4 – Customer Service Reps

Your customer service representatives are on the front lines of customer interactions and will have a good sense of the common problems customers encounter and typical sales objections. Tap into their experience to identify the consistent customer objections that occur. While some of what they say will certainly be anecdotal, it can give you a broad picture of what your customers feel.

#5 – Social Channels

People tend to share very positive and very negative experiences on social media platforms. Closely monitoring social media channels allows you to identify those who’ve had negative experiences and personally interact with them to discover their pain points. For those who share positive experiences, you have the opportunity to ask them specifically what made their experience so good and leverage their feedback as social proof.

#6 – Brand Feedback On Third-Party Sites

Third-party websites that house reviews, testimonials, recommendations, and other similar content can give you valuable insight into customers who have had negative experiences on your site. These sites also usually allow you to engage with the customer by replying to the review, asking for further clarification, and offering to fix any problems.

How To Overcome Customer Objections (Step-By-Step)

Once you’ve determined the specific objections your customers have, you can begin to address them systematically.

Typically, objections fall into one of three categories:

  1. Risk – The customer is concerned that the cost of the product may not be worth the value it provides.
  2. Quality – The customer is concerned that the product may be low quality, and thus not provide a satisfying experience.
  3. Relationship – The customer is concerned that the company selling the product (in this case, you) is of questionable character and may provide poor service.
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How Do You Overcome Each of These Customer Objections?

#1 – Work To Reduce The Perceived Risk

Perceived risk is subjective and will vary from customer to customer, though there are numerous ways you can reduce the amount of risk they feel. Each of these strategies involves, in some fashion, reframing the conversation to demonstrate that the risks are minimal and the benefits significant.

In most cases, some or all of these strategies will be used in concert with each other.

  • Prove that the value of the product exceeds the costs and potential risks. This should be your overarching strategy when it comes to reducing the perceived risk. You want the customer to understand that the value your product provides far exceeds the risks. Because value depends on several factors (quality, benefits, relation to competitor products, etc.), you need to understand the specific risks that concern them and then show how the value of your product speaks to each of their risks.
  • Re-frame the cost. When a budget-conscious person looks at your product, they are primarily aware of one thing: cost. This one thing can overshadow almost everything else about your product. You can overcome this objection by reframing the cost in terms of the value it will bring to their life. The phrase, “You can’t put a price on your health,” is a common example of this. Yes, it may cost a lot for a medical procedure, but the value of feeling well far outweighs the cost. The same approach applies to your physical or digital product. Yes, your product costs a certain amount, but compared to the value it brings, it’s worth the price.
  • Highlight the benefits. There’s a huge difference between highlighting your product’s features and benefits. Features are things like the materials it’s made from, the different things it can do, etc. It slices, it dices, it makes Julienne fries. Those are features. Benefits, on the other hand, are the way the features improve the person’s life. A customer can easily see the features of a product on your site. What they can’t necessarily do is connect the dots between those features and how they will bring value to them. Your mobile phone battery case offers a 40% overall increase in battery charge. That’s a feature. This extended battery life translates into 9 hours of not needing to worry whether your battery will die. That’s a benefit. Focus on benefits over features.
  • Offer a guarantee. Few things do more to set customers at ease than a guarantee. If they know they can get their money back without any hassle, their sense of risk will be greatly reduced. Nordstrom has built their reputation on allowing returns for the entire life of their products. If you bought a backpack in 6th grade and want to return it 20 years later, they’ll let you do it. This greatly reduces the risk people feel when purchasing their products.
  • Give sufficient product details. This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it nonetheless. At a minimum, you should give customers enough product details to make an informed decision. If customers have to do significant research just to determine product details, it’s unlikely you’ll make the sale.

#2: Make The Quality Of The Product Or Service More Apparent

One of the chief concerns of every customer is the quality of your product or service. They want to know they’re making a wise purchase that will provide value over the long run. There are several simple ways to highlight the quality of what you offer.

  • Highlight your service and support. By drawing attention to your outstanding customer service, you demonstrate that you’re committed to the customer beyond the sale. You genuinely want them to get value from your product and are willing to dedicate time and resources to help them. Companies like Zappos and Trader Joe’s have built hugely loyal customer bases due to their passionate commitment to outstanding customer service. For the customer, this acts as a safety net of sorts. They know that if something goes wrong, they can easily get the problem fixed.
  • Highlight abilities to customize or personalize. If your product can be customized in any way, that should be highlighted to potential customers. This gives them the assurance that the product will be exactly what they want, and to their specifications. Additionally, customization typically indicates more individual attention given to creating each product, as opposed to cranking them off an assembly line.
  • Highlight values that will appeal to your customers. Depending on your product, your customers will have certain things they value. For example, if you’re selling handcrafted leather bags, your customers will probably value craftsmanship. If you’re selling electronics, speed will be a key value. Supplement buyers value the purity and organic nature of their purchases. Do whatever you can to highlight those particular values on your site and in conversations with customers. This can be instrumental in overcoming objections.
  • Create high-quality supplemental content. One of the cheapest ways to overcome objections is to create high-quality, high-value supplemental content on your site that will help your customers. For example, if you sell coffee beans, an in-depth guide on creating the perfect cup of coffee with a French Press will serve your potential customers and demonstrate your commitment to your product.

#3 – Build Relationships and Care For Your Audience

Perhaps most importantly, you want to demonstrate that you truly care for your audience. Potential customers want to know that you’re not going to take their money and disappear. If you can build relationships with your customers, you’ll retain them for the long run and increase your Customer Lifetime Value.

Some simple ways to build relationships and care for your audience are:

  • Show testimonials. Testimonials from satisfied customers demonstrate both the reliability of your product or service and just how much you care about your customers. This goes a long way toward establishing trust with and overcoming the objections of potential customers. Why does Amazon show the overall customer product rating immediately under the product title? Because they know that customers trust the opinions of other customers. Adding testimonials and reviews to your site can go a long way toward overcoming objections.
  • Show case studies. By putting successful case studies on your site, you demonstrate that: 1) You have a history of helping customers succeed and 2) You are committed to building outstanding relationships with your clients. Case studies also help minimize the risk potential customers might feel. It shows them that numerous other customers have used your product or service successfully.
  • Create loyalty programs. There’s a reason loyalty programs have long been a staple of brick-and-mortar stores: they work. When you reward people for being loyal customers, they keep coming back, which then allows you to build a relationship with them. The more you nurture that relationship, the fewer objections they have and the more likely they are to buy from you.

Common Sales Objections For SaaS & Ecommerce Companies

How do these specifically manifest for SaaS and ecommerce companies? Let’s take a look.

SaaS Common Sales Objections

Cost Concerns:

  • Objection: Some customers may be hesitant to subscribe to a service once they see the price and perceive that the cost is too much. A lack of budget is one of the most common types of objections.
  • Resolution: Your pricing page needs to communicate the value of your SaaS product effectively to address any price objections. The pricing page should have clear, customer-friendly language, simple layouts, and be free from any misleading marketing tactics. Provide flexible pricing plans, free trials, or discounts for longer commitments.
Clearbit pricing page

Integration Challenges:

  • Objection: Another common cause for concern when it comes to SaaS products is the complexity of integrating the solution into existing systems. Prospects don’t want to disrupt their processes by worrying about the compatibility of the product with their system.
  • Resolution: Address their concerns by highlighting integration processes and providing customer testimonials showcasing successful integrations. You can even take it one step further by offering dedicated customer support or integration assistance, showing that they don’t have to worry about anything because you’ll be there to help them along. Sharing case studies of similar businesses that have successfully integrated your solution can also show them the service in action.
LiveChat integration page addressing customer objections

Data Security Concerns:

  • Objection: It’s perfectly understandable for potential customers to be cautious about storing sensitive data in the cloud. Security breaches happen all the time, and they have no guarantee that their data will be safe.
  • Resolution: Assure your customers of your company’s robust security measures. Provide compliance certifications if necessary and highlight encryption protocols. Offer data privacy guarantees and share information on how your SaaS solution keeps customer data safe.

Limited Customization:

  • Objection: Customers want a solution or service that fits their needs. If your SaaS solution appears too rigid and not customizable, they may hesitate to use your service.
  • Resolution: Make sure to showcase the flexibility of your platform by detailing customization options and the ability to tailor the solution to meet specific business needs. Providing examples of how other businesses have successfully personalized the platform can encourage them further.

Ecommerce Companies Customer Objections

Shipping Costs and Times:

  • Objection: Common objections in sales are high shipping costs or extended delivery times. Customers don’t like surprises. When you add a high shipping cost on top of the product they arepurchasing, chances are they will abandon their cart. 
  • Resolution: Time is money, and your customers want to know when their purchases will arrive on their doorstep. Get as specific as possible with your delivery dates. Many ecommerce stores have also discovered that incorporating free shipping as part of their strategic plan enables them to sell more goods and earn more profits.
Nike estimated delivery date

Product Quality Concerns:

  • Objection: Shoppers want to know they’re getting their money’s worth, but it can be difficult to determine the quality of a product through a website.
  • Resolution: You can convey a sense of quality and craftsmanship by provisioning detailed product descriptions. Describe the materials used, the care that went into its construction, and any unique characteristics that set it apart. Supplement this with high-resolution images and videos that allow customers to closely examine details. Customer reviews and social proof are incredibly powerful – highlight those that specifically mention the product’s quality and durability.
detailed product description to address customer objections

Product Fit and Sizing Concerns:

  • Objection: Customers hesitate to buy clothes (and other size-sensitive items) online because they can’t try them on first. Nobody wants the hassle of returning something that doesn’t fit.
  • Resolution: Eliminate their uncertainty by providing detailed product descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. User-generated photos showing the product on different body types provide valuable visual context. Make exchanges and returns easy to build confidence. Consider offering a satisfaction guarantee or warranty to reassure customers about the quality of your products.
Marcella using high quality images on product page

By understanding and effectively addressing these objections, SaaS and e-commerce companies can build trust, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately increase conversion rates.

See Things Through The Eyes Of Your Customers

Ultimately, overcoming objections is about seeing things through the eyes of your customers. It’s about understanding the reservations, hesitations, and questions they have, empathizing with those concerns, then seeking to overcome those objections. Overcoming the objections of your customers is key to improving your digital customer experience and increasing sales.

Remember, the best kind of customer relationship is based on trust. People who trust you are far more likely to buy from you. But as with any relationship, building trust takes time and action. By taking action to identify customer objections and then taking time to answer them, you put yourself in a position for success.

If you need help identifying and overcoming your customer objections, contact us.

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About the Author

Katie Encabo

Katie Encabo is the Customer Success Manager at The Good. She focuses on supporting and improving the experience of top-performing ecommerce and SaaS growth teams as they optimize the digital experience for their users.