Make it all about Your Clients
Really Listening to Your Clients Could Be a Game Changer For Your Business
Constant Contact conducted a national survey of small business owners early 2018 and the results revealed 93 percent of small business owners were not tuned into the most important part of their business.
Which part? Their customers.
The results also revealed most of their small business owner clients perform their own marketing (95 per cent), are self-taught (64 per cent), and do not consider themselves savvy marketers.
And really, what with running their business and staying on top of their own industry, how can they be blamed? It’s not their bad.
But it does result is marketing produced at the last minute, being easily swayed when sales people come calling with a marketing pitch, marketing initiatives created without a well-thought-out supporting service infrastructure, and an unfocused marketing strategy not centered on their clients.
The good news is you CAN quickly shift your marketing towards a customer-centric model.
Strategies to Help You Focus on Your Clients
You really don’t need access to “big data” to accomplish a more customer-centric marketing strategy — though we do recommend you get access to your industry data. What you most need is for you and your employees to develop the habit of talking to your clients, asking them questions and learning more about what they are looking for — then listen, listen, and listen some more.
Set a goal to talk with (say) ten of your customers to ask them two or three useful questions about their experience with your brand. Set a completion deadline. You know it won’t happen otherwise.
Ask the tough questions you might be uncomfortable getting an answer to. Customer-centric communication isn’t always easy communication, and sometimes you need to hear and process the things that are going wrong with how your customers are experiencing your brand, before you can create a better strategy to move forward. It’s not always pleasant to hear constructive criticism, but the hard answers will do your business the most good.
Many people will avoid uncomfortable conversations or risk hurting your feelings. You might need to be more adept at reading between the lines.
Make it very clear to them that you value their honest feedback; that you want to know the gaps and deficiencies and limitations of your products or services so you can improve on your service delivery for them and for your future customers.
If you’re just launching your business, it’s useful to create a profile of your ideal client, then seek some potential clients that fill the bill and ask for their help. Most should respond positively if you give them a specific and relatively easy task to complete, such as a well thought out questionnaire.
Questions You Might Ask Clients and Potential Clients
- In what scenario would you consider buying our product or service?
- What would you most value about our product or service?
- What problem would this solve, or how would it make your life better?
- What would you need to have/be/feel/think for this to be a successful transaction?
- How would a solution to the problem make you feel/allow you to do?
- Where do you go to find answers?
Never Stop Conversing with Your Clients
Your customer’s needs evolve over time. So must your business. Once you successfully solve a problem and/or meet a need for your client, they are free to move forward — until they meet with the next obstacle. Your business success in part depends on anticipating their next need and building a solution for them, even before they know they need it! That’s how your products and services will evolve and grow with your market.
Have you already asked your clients questions? Did their answers transformed how you deliver your products and services?
Contact us for useful service on your own terms.