Business owners: be honest with yourself as you read through these. Are you doing all of these 7 examples?
July 20 2017
Which of these 7 are you falling short on?
As a business owner of any kind, you probably know how important it is to keep thinking about your customers. You do want to keep those customers, after all, right?
There are some tell-tale ways of spotting whether businesses are really thinking about their customers or not. There’s a lot of obvious ways to tell, but we won’t be covering any of those here. We’re going deeper.
So, business owner: be honest with yourself as you read through these. Are you doing all of these 7 examples?
1. You think about your customers more than your competitors.
If you’re thinking about your competitors, what are you really thinking about?
Right: you’re thinking about yourself. You’re thinking about your position in the marketplace. You’re thinking about whether one of them is working on a killer feature that could sink you. Or if one of them will make a mistake that you can take advantage of.
Selfish thinking, for the most part.
When you think about your customers more than your competitors, your thoughts and actions revolve around your customers. Thinking about your competitors will make you reactionary, not revolutionary.
In Tony Robbins’ book, “Awaken the Giant Within“, he tells a story about looking where you’re going when skidding out on a racetrack. During his training, while skidding off the track, he was told to look at the track, at where he wanted to go, not at the wall he was heading towards. In doing so, he would increase his chances of avoiding a collision.
Same goes for your business. Keep your eyes on your customers, and you’ll steer towards their favor. Looking only at your competitors may be sending you towards a tire-wall of mediocrity.
2. People stick around.
Now, you could technically slip through this one by having a killer onboarding process, or a great product offering with very little competition. But generally, if people start to feel like they’re part of a conveyor belt of orders, there’s much less chance of them really being loyal to you.
For Fairhead Creative, we work hard to make everybody feel as special as we really feel they are. We treat our clients like family. Many of our clients become our friends. Some clients have been with us for years now. That counts for something.
Do your customers stick around for the long haul? Do they share your content? Do you lose the formalities with each other as time goes on? Do their kids know your name? These are all good signs.
3. You find yourself feeling more relaxed in your business.
Don’t confuse relaxed with lazy. I’m not talking about lazy.
The times I feel most at ease while building Fairhead Creative are the times when I know I’m rooted firmly in the service of great people.
In those times, I remember that my work is to create great things for great people and to win together.
I feel much less relaxed if I’m ever concerning myself with internal changes or growth hiccups. In those times, I have to remember to think about our customers. Things then work themselves out, and I feel more relaxed.
When you’re thinking about your customers, the other stuff stays “stuff”, and the goal stays in helping your people win.
4. You look forward to picking up the phone.
The Internet is full of talk of how the phone (the ‘phone’ app, at least) is dead. How cold calling is dead. How phone sales are dead. It’s all apparently dead.
And it is if you’re not thinking about your customers.
You see, if you’re really thinking about your customers, you’ll want to pick up the phone and talk to them. Same goes for potential customers.
Talking to them stops being a scary thing that can be explained away by the masses in order to avoid fear, and starts being an opportunity to serve. Whether they want to hear your voice or not!
While focusing on your customers and not yourself, you’re proactively looking for ways to serve your customers.
If you’re thinking about anything else, you’ll feel the jitters. A prospect that shoots you down could then make you feel like you’ve failed. And that you’re not cut out for this. And that your business is going to crash and burn because you can’t do it. And that your future will be spent stacking shelves, dreaming of the days that could have been.
Focus on serving. That way, whatever they say, you know you were trying to serve them. Whatever they say, you did the right thing.
5. Pricing is easy.
I’ve run tests on pricing with Fairhead Creative in the past. This business favors a guiding hand over a pricing matrix. Our clients often look to us to help them determine their best path forward – the best bang for their buck.
Yours may be different, you’ll know where your customers fall. Either way, when I’m thinking about my customers, I’m thinking about how much value I ADD for my customers. “What’s the most we can do for them with what they have available?” “How far can we carry them to success in our relationship together?”
If I’m not thinking about them, it becomes a different set of questions entirely. Instead, it becomes, “How much value can I GET out of our customers?” That’s a totally different conversation, one that makes you ponder how far you can ‘squeeze’ before you’re rejected. That’s not a conversation you want to be having.
If you’re focused on the value, then pricing isn’t so tough – simply learn their situation and help them get the best value they possibly can.
6. You’re focused on their success.
When you set out into business, you were likely thinking about one of two things:
- Changing lives for the better
- New Lamborghini
If you know what supercar you want to get with your bazillions, you’re not thinking about your customers. If instead, you were thinking about making a change, you know you’ve got their interests at heart.
It’s not too late to change your answer – there’s always a space for a business owner ready to make a difference. After all, it’s the capitalist’s job in society to help care for the masses. The government surely won’t!
7. You break your own rules for your customers.
Richard Branson’s book, “Losing My Virginity,” tells the story of an air hostess that broke protocol to help a customer catch a Virgin Atlantic flight he was clearly too late for. Middle-management wasn’t especially happy about it. But she got promoted from the top.
Sometimes, you have to break a rule or two to make your customers happy.
If you’re shutting your customers out because of a line in a guidebook, ask yourself if it’s in the best interest of your customers, or if it’s just you being a stickler!
Customers are the lifeblood of every business. No customers, no business. Customers are also the opportunity for entrepreneurs to serve their communities and bring positive change.
Whether you’re running a business full of heart, or if your business has lost its way, I hope you’ll find value in these 7 ways to know whether or not you’re really thinking about your customers. Let’s recap:
- Think about your customers more than your competitors
- Give your customers reasons to stick around
- Relax and focus on your customers, rather than stressing about the minutiae.
- Pick up the phone and go add value
- Give more value for your price than you charge
- Focus on their success
- Break the rules sometimes if it benefits your customers
Which of these bullets do you think you’ll benefit from the most? Which bullet do you think is the worst offender?