What Do Your Customers Really Want?
Steve Job famously said that customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
Job was allowed to be arrogant, but the regular business person isn’t running Apple.
In the average business with average customers in an average world, customers are very clear on what it is that prompts them to buy your product or support your business.
It may be as simple as your geographic proximity to them, or as complicated as your product or service serving a complex need they have.
I have a friend who is just buying her seventh new vehicle from the same dealership. As long as I have known her, she swears by them, so I recently asked her what it is about the car that she likes so well.
“Oh, a car is just a car to me,” she said airily. “As long as it has good tires and a loud sound system, I’m happy. What my dealership has where I live that the others don’t is an absolutely superb service department. That’s why I buy all my cars there.”
In the holiday season that just passed, another friend was very upset with her local grocery store because she couldn’t find their bottled marshmallow cream product. In years past, she could go to the bakery goods and find it there every Christmas as she prepared to make her fudge. This year, she thought they weren’t carrying it anymore and she was really upset.
She cornered the new young manager and asked him why they were not carrying her favourite fudge ingredient anymore. He said it was there, and led her over to the ice cream section, where there was a stack of it just beside a freezer.
She looked at it in amazement.
“Why is it here?”
He told her people used it and chocolate sauce to make ice cream desserts. She was amazed and still indignant.
“What about all your customers who use it to make fudge,” she asked. The young sales manager was astonished that the product had another purpose.
These anecdotes serve to remind us that knowing why our customers like our products or services is just as important as knowing that they buy them. If you want to grow your business, you have to have a good handle on both.
How do you find out what is important to your customers?
At every level of your business have feedback areas in place.
Use surveying programs to ask four or five excellent questions to gain insight into what really matters to your customers. SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com) is free for up to 100 respondents which may be enough for your small business.
Don’t assume that you know what really matters to your customers. Find out and then make sure you continue to meet that need and your business will grow successfully.
Armed with that knowledge, then you can take Job’s tip and think how you could modify the product to be even more useful to your customers. Surprise and delight them, and you can’t go wrong.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
25 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and her newest release “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.
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