Who is your customer (or client), and what do they want from you?
These are two simple questions which many businesses struggle to be able to define. If you don’t know who your customer is, then it is impossible for you to maximise your business potential, because you won’t fully understand their needs and you could be leaving sales opportunities on the table.
Even worse, if you don’t understand your customer type, then you are oblivious to the fact that they may be on the path to extinction – which means….that your business may only be a few steps behind.
The market we operate in is continually changing, which means that the needs of customers change, and in turn, so do the businesses which support them. Technology for instance has changed many facets of business, a simple example being that if you were only suppling thermal paper for fax machines – its unlikely that you would still be in business.
So where is this leading I hear you ask – simple….carve out some time on a regular basis to challenge who your ideal customers are, ensure that you fully understand them, confirm that you are servicing them correctly with the right products and searches, make sure that they remain relevant to you and you to them….and challenge yourself…who else should you be servicing?
As for a few extra points to consider each time – consider these;
Businesses who may have been too small or too large for you to deal with two years ago may have grown and evolved and now be suitable for an approach. If you are not monitoring the market, or if you have previously researched your market and you have a database of contacts and prospects – then refresh it, it will have changed.
Changes in technology, change the ability and way businesses do things. For example, many businesses these days have an online interface – what may have been a shop front need 10 years ago, migrated to incorporating a web site 5 years ago, and today – may been replaced by an online shopping cart. If you were the web provider for this business, you would be very happy – but what about the owner of the retail store which they no longer lease? Assess your products and services to see ensure that they are moving with your clients – to not only service today’s needs, but also what they may require tomorrow.
The evolution of business and employee expectations means that your key contact in a business will most likely, always be influx. Make sure that you have clear and regular contact to ensure you’re maintaining your brand strength across the wider business. As a general rule, you should always have multiple contact points within customers businesses so if there is a change of staff – you still have a strong contact point.
The evolution of both online business technology and urban sprawl mean that traditional business precincts have changed significantly. Older business precincts are now being redeveloped – whilst the advent of online selling allows many products to be pitched to a global market. Reassess your marketing programs and sales process to ensure that you are capitalising on the changing and varied market geographic factors that will impact your client base.
Many businesses are so busy “in the moment” that they are only worried about the customers in front of them. But what about those customers from last year, or the year before or even a few years before that? A phone call (not just an email) may find that some of these old customers have not used your services – simply because someone else offered them an alternative. With all the money that is spent on marketing just to gain a new prospect, it’s silly not to reacquaint yourself with past customers to see what future opportunity there may be.
In this short article which covered only a handful of evolutionary aspects – it shows how reviewing your customers (type and need) should be an ongoing business review activity.
A full 360° assessment of your customers remains the best way of understanding who they are, where they are and what they require – with the more points of assessment increasing the detail of the picture of your market.
Naturally, the greater the detail – the better the understanding and the more effective you can be at placing the right product at the right price in front of the right market who can afford it. As part of our business planning support for businesses, we complete a detailed 360° assessment of the businesses target market, so if you require assistance with this – please contact us for a no obligation discussion.
To discuss how this impacts your business, drop us a line at [email protected] or call on 1300 626 488. We provide a range of services to double business bottom lines and buy back owner time – so we are happy to discuss if we can help you.