Customers tell business owners more than they ever expect to hear. Without direct feedback from customers, a small business wouldn’t know how to improve. Reading reviews on popular consumer websites reveals scores of ways to make a company better. Flatlined business models can revamp strategies thanks to customer commentary. Reviews also tell tales about what a business does right.
What about indirect ways a customer conveys information to a small business? Even when a customer doesn’t come straight out and say what he/she likes, behaviors and actions lead to outcomes. Business owners must look carefully at what customers silently say. This way, proprietors can take smart steps to improve their businesses in various ways.
The Impact of a Marketing Campaign
Small businesses rely on smart marketing and promotional campaigns to drive business. A business owner may outright fall in love with a particular advertising strategy. Changing the plan isn’t foreseeable. Does the advertising plan work though? Look at the customers for the answer. Have sales increased? Are new customers coming through the doors? Do you see long-time customers increasing their spending? Put aside personal feeling about an ad campaign. Don’t place 100% faith in commentary from the “experts” either. Customers generate money to a business. How they respond to marketing strategies dictates whether to keep the plan in place or make a significant change.
Customers Display the Direction of Trends
A fitness studio may offer a multitude of different ways to lose weight. Customers could gravitate towards one particular approach such as bodyweight training indicating a trend. A bank presents numerous means of putting money into long-term savings. When First Fidelity Reserve reviews show an overwhelming number of customers moving towards a single type of investment vehicle, a trend is developing. Trends, essentially, reveal customer interests.
The originating source of the interest could range from a media-inspired fad or a desire to keep up with others. The reasons why trends develop aren’t always important from a business owners perspective. What is important would be the ability to pick up on trends and capitalize on them.
Customers Suggest When Expansion Makes Sense
No customer is likely to walk through a business’ front doors and announce “Right now is the time to expand!” Well, the customer won’t be so overt in how he/she says it. When a large and increasing volume of customers makes equally significant purchases, they suggest expansion seems feasible. Expanding too soon and without actual demand for increased delivery of products or services sets a disastrous course. A company could lose enormous sums of money this way. Missing out on capital may be livable, but it could be regrettable as well. Ultimately, expansions require the right timing. Customers relay when the time is right.
Customers Suggest Improvements in Customer Service
If there were one area in which customers may be overt in their compliments and criticism, it would be customer service. Exceptional customer service doesn’t go unnoticed. A combination of positive online reviews and positive in-person feedback shows appreciation towards customer service. Complaints about rude behavior, late orders, or long waits on the telephone indicate extreme displeasure with customer service. Never dismiss customer service concerns. Doing so is to reject customers.
Deficiencies in customer service — when detected — can’t stay in place. Implementing immediate improvements is the only step a business owner can take. No business model thrives when customer service proves lacking. Owners headstrong against making changes will regret their decision.
Business and Customers are Inseparable
Customers factor heavily into the design of a business model because business’ exist for the customers. Without customer support and patronage, a company quickly fails. Customers aren’t solely a source of revenue though. Customers represent the best marketing research available. Look closely at their words and deeds to make necessary business model changes.