Want more business? I’m willing to bet there’s stuff right beneath your nose if only you took the trouble to ask the right questions of the right people.
Start with your current clients. Call them and ask what it is they really love about you and your service. And equally importantly, what else they would want. Maybe there isn’t anything extra, but you could find there’s stuff you’re doing that isn’t important to them.
If the latter, drop it and save yourself time and money.
Over the years we’ve comprehensively interviewed literally hundreds of people on behalf of our clients.
We’ve found out what they like, don’t like, what they want and what they couldn’t care less about. And there have been many surprises.
Take the beauty clinic owner who didn’t realise her clients “hated” being seen by different therapists. They all had their favourites and only wanted to work with them. Or that some of the payment policies showed a distinct lack of trust (and left a singularly bad taste in the mouth) for clients who had been coming for years.
Another client was told in no uncertain terms he needed to provide better “live” support. There were clients he’d lost due to his belief that it was too expensive and not necessary to go out on site and solve a problem when there was no other alternative.
On occasion we’ve found a particular sales or customer support employee was really rubbing clients up the wrong way. In others we found star employees who needed to be nurtured to make sure they stayed.
In another case we saved our client time and money by discovering none of his clients wanted a regular newsletter.
So the bottom line is if you’re not using your customers as your best source of business improvement, you’re missing out on a goldmine of information. After all, who better to tell you what they want from you, what they like about you, and what you could improve.
It’s your ability to ask for feedback, not get bent out of shape when you hear stuff that you don’t like and then correct things, that will be the greatest determiner of your success.
And of course, feedback is not just about finding out what’s going wrong. It’s equally about finding out what you’re doing well and can give you great ideas for innovation.
And if you think this doesn’t apply to you…
Bain & Company (one of the world’s leading business consulting firms) noted just how commonly companies misread the market.
“Most companies assume they’re consistently giving customers what they want. Usually, they’re kidding themselves. When we recently surveyed 362 firms, we found that 80% believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when we then asked customers about their own perceptions, we heard a very different story. They said that only 8% of companies were really delivering.”
So make sure you’re not falling into this trap.
So get out there and find out what your clients really want from you. Or better yet, ask us to do it for you.
Why engage us?
- People are far more likely to open up to a non-involved third party and give honest feedback. Think about it this way… If someone gives you negative feedback, you’re likely to get defensive (it’s only human), and knowing this people often shy away from telling you the truth. This doesn’t happen when talking to us as we’re not involved and have nothing to get defensive about.
- I’m sure you’ve been at the receiving end of a “phone survey” where the “interviewer” asks a series of questions by rote. Keeps repeating phrases like, “On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the least and 10 the most” and then the question. Spare me!!!
Our interviews are conducted in a conversational style. We don’t “interrogate” your clients and ask questions by rote.
- We get answers and insights from your client that you’re unlikely to get because clients often are more comfortable opening up to an “uninvolved” third party.
- You find out why they love doing business with you.
- You find out what and how you can improve your products and services.
- You get feedback of what other services and products you could offer.
- You’ll discover where to advertise (or not)… Which magazines, newspapers and other publications your clients read and have subscribed to.
- You get a detailed write up of the conversation including the positives and any negatives in the business relationship between you and your client.
- We will call you in case something important comes up during the interview. We’ve had cases where potential business was to be picked up or a sticky situation had to be resolved quickly to keep the client happy.
- And finally if your client agrees, we’ll create a testimonial from their comments which you can use in your marketing material, be it brochures, sales letters, on your website or any other material you create.
So please don’t play “blind archery”. Take the time to find out what your clients really want and then give it to them. It’s only your business at stake if you don’t.