Ask any business owner whether they’re in tune with their customer’s wants, needs, likes, and dislikes, and you’ll get a resounding chorus of yeses. The problem? Unless you’re actively in the trenches with your line-level workers on a daily basis, you might not be as in sync as you think you are. And even if you have daily interactions on the front lines, you might still be missing critical information.
Accurately understanding what your customers are thinking can help you make more informed decisions, better tailor your services, and ultimately turn higher profits. But in a world of noise, distractions, and controlled chaos, how on Earth do you make this happen? Glad you asked.
Understand Your Customers May Think Differently Than You
One of the most common tendencies of business owners (and people in general) is to assume that the rest of the world thinks, feels, and acts the same way they do. In reality, though, this is often not the case. Have you ever rolled out a new marketing initiative or a new product that you couldn’t be more excited about only to see the customer reaction fall far short of what you expected?
We’re not saying you should abandon your ideals, ignore your experience and downplay the expertise you’ve built up in your field. What we are saying, though, is to open your mind to the possibility that your customer’s viewpoint may be wildly different than yours. When you remove the blinders and widen the narrow focus, you may be surprised to see opportunities that you never knew existed.
Nothing Paints a Clearer Picture Than Data
It can be tempting to base decisions on anecdotal evidence and feedback you’ve gotten from your most vocal customers or clients. The issue here, though, is the most vocal people don’t always speak for the masses. There’s a tendency for anecdotal evidence to be heavily polarized. In other words, you mainly hear from the people that are really happy or really upset. This leaves out the majority of your customers that fall in between those two extremes.
How do you bridge this gap? Data. The more data you can collect on your customer’s likes, dislikes, tendencies, wants, and needs, the stronger position you’ll be in to operate like a champ. And we’re not just talking about things like surveys here. One of the services we offer at YoVu is call volume data and trend analysis on your incoming customer calls. This data can help you to better allocate resources and understand what your customers really want. Critical data is lurking everywhere, and the more you can think outside of the box to find it, the better.
Well-meaning business owners have a tendency to over-complicate the feedback loop. The number one way to find out what your customers are thinking is to ask. By being proactive instead of reactive, you begin to move away from polarized responses towards the majority of your customers.
You can do this anecdotally, or you can utilize data collection tools. Which is better? The answer is both. By employing a healthy mix of the two, you can turbocharge your knowledge of all of your customers.
Next Steps to Connect with Your Customers Today
So, where do you go from here? There are two functional steps you can take today. First, look into the data collection tools that are available. If you take calls from customers, our incoming call reporting system is a great first step to explore.
Second, determine the best way to connect with your customers regularly. Is this a survey? Is it getting down on the front lines and talking to people? Are there market studies you can pull? Can you connect with past customers? Ultimately, the answer to what works will be different based on your industry, products, and services. But one thing is the same across the board — if you can get better in tune with your customers, you can drive profitability to new heights.