Small Business

How to Give Your Customers What they Want

Business owners value their customers. They have no other choice. If customers aren’t happy, they take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately, new business owners may struggle to try to retain their customers. A lack of experience contributes to their inability to truly know what their customers want. All new entrepreneurs require a learning curve of sorts. Trial and error serve as a great teacher.

Still, once a customer departs it is almost impossible to get him or her back. Business owners cannot lose too many customers or else the solvency of their operation could reach terminal levels. While small bits of advice won’t solve all a business’ problems, following a few basic principles does help with understanding what customers want.

Run a Business the Right Way

The operation of a business is sometimes thought of as being purely internal. In other words, the way you run a business doesn’t directly affect customers. It absolutely does! A business that runs like the proverbial smooth and tight ship definitely impresses customers. A business must operate with a certain commitment to a standard of care. Otherwise, problems become unavoidable and this makes a bad impression on customers.

For example, effectively training employees to always act professional and courteous means a lot. Making sure the employees positively understand all the tasks required of them further helps facilitate better relations with customers. Never leave anything related to a business’ operation to chance. Be proactive in order to effectively manage how things run.

Determine What Customers Value

A basic reason exists why customers choose to patronize a business. The customers want something. They might want something more than a particular product or service. Customers could want access to certain types of customer service such as detailed answers to any questions they may have. Knowing what customers value the most from a business definitely helps the owner meet the demanded needs. By making patrons happy through understanding what they value, a business makes a solid impression on a customer.

Conversely, business owners must figure out what customers don’t care about. A particular customer might be 100% interested in quality and not price. Pushing discounts on such a customer might not resonate. Constantly trying to push deals, discounts, and special offers on such a customer probably won’t of much use. By understanding the clear needs of a particular customer, meeting those needs becomes much easier. The end result is a customer pleased to be doing business with you.

Instituting the Right Marketing Plan

All forms of marketing, sales, and promotions must do more than simply advertise your wares. Marketing must make a unique connection with a potential customer, a connection that goes beyond merely presenting information. An emotional or intellectual bond should exist between customers. The classic advertising slogan “Have a Coke and a smile” perfectly illustrates how a marketing strategy can create a connection with customers. A “smile” indicates a person who drinks Coca-Cola will feel happy and upbeat. What customer doesn’t want to feel positive after using a company’s product? What customer doesn’t want to feel good and happy in general? Imagine how much easier it becomes to sell an atomizer when a marketing campaign stresses all the positives and overlooks the negatives.

Marketing and advertising strategies do need to support branding while conveying specific information. In addition to doing this, marketing also has to touch the right chords with customers in order to truly intrigue them and bring them on board.

Remain the Boss

Playing the role of a boss does not mean you should be overbearing or a disciplinarian. Rather, it means you must take the initiative to ensure all your directives are followed to the proverbial letter. Any devised standards must be met and maintained. Leaving such things to chance won’t work. You must be a proactive boss. And yes, this includes being proactive with all strategies designed to meet customer needs.

Leadership plays a major role in the success or failure of any business. Effective leadership positively can help a business deliver on all customer expectations.

 
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Dennis Hung is an entrepreneur and product analyst specializing in mobile technology and IoT. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

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