Wouldn’t be great if your customers’ attitudes and behaviour didn’t change.
They just stayed the same, happily buying your products or services and of course never be tempted by competitors.
Okay, this is a nice fantasy and doesn’t bear any likeness to reality. Of course they change and Deborah Chaddock Brown from Make or Break Moments wrote a good post Customer Relationships: Not Something You Can Set and Forget that brought this issue to my mind.
As I was reading her post I remembered a great deal of my time as a marketer in corporate life was involved in troubleshooting brands that were in trouble.
I must admit this is what I also enjoyed the most.
So as I sat down this morning I thought of the common symptoms of what happened to these brands to see if there were any common factors. They were a number and one cause was quite obvious.
It was that we had not checked in with our customers. When we did and got their feedback it actually was a case of OMG, why didn’t we do this earlier. Why did we just assume?
Not taking action to strengthen your relationships can cost your business big time and here are 9 advantages of being proactive to keep learning about your customers:
- Allows you to have a real point f difference that is still relevant and not generic eg great customer service
- Helps you craft communication that is meaningful to them
- Allows you to pinpoint areas of opportunity such as new services or products or on the other hand what to drop from your range
- See what changes have occurred for example are they hanging out in places where you are not
- Allows you to see what is working and what is not
- Allows you to review what features and benefits are important to them
- You can see what they like and dislike so you can make adjustments
- Deepens the relationship
- It make life a lot easier (this is my favourite)
Just one point of caution.
If you talk to your customers or even do a research survey, don’t always take what they say literally because it can lead you to making wrong decisions. Just like in your personal relationships it is the interpretation of what they are say that can be the key.
Take it one step at a time and just for example talk to a customer who will give you honest feedback. Even if you are having a great time now with loads of work, making time to know them better helps you to not have to face the lean times in the future.
If you do not ask then you will never know and could be missing out on opportunities.