How well do you really know your customer? Although you face them everyday, sometimes you just don’t know what they want. Fear not, you’re not alone as even the customers themselves sometimes do not know what they want. As Henry Ford once said, 'If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”'
Experience first and foremost
Customers are demanding and expect a delightful experience irregardless of the end product. Whether you are selling a luxury good or bargain product, having a good experience is crucial for customers. In some cases, it is the key brand differentiator among similar product offerings. Align your staff around a winning culture of “Experience first”. Afterall, creating goodwill does not cost money.
Stop listening to your customers
You need to know your customers better than they know themselves. Regular feedback, customer surveys, are all important parts of the discovery work on getting a pulse of your business. However, it’s crucial to take a step back as well and avoid over-analysing every single customer feedback as it can lead to “analysis paralysis”. Keep in mind that feedback comes from your existing customers, so innovation comes from opening your horizon to a broader addressable base of users.
Imagine if you can tailor your offering to each individual based on their tastes and preferences. This is the holy grail that marketers often dream about. As a small business owner, you will not have the resources to run machine learning AI algorithm to match user preferences. But you can start somewhere with the basic touchpoints. Go through the customer journey and look for opportunities to add an element of personalisation. This can be as simple as using their first name instead of a generic salutation. Also, when responding to customers, using your name (eg. John from ABC Company) is better than a generic person such as “Customer support rep”. Simple things can go a long way. Try reaching out to a customer with a personal note on their birthday. Think about the last time (if ever) you received an email like that from a company. Show that you genuinely care.
With these pointers, you are ready to set out to innovate and build a car instead of a “faster horse” and give customers something they really want.