If you want to create a real competitive edge in your business start focusing on your customers. It sounds obviously simple, but the fact is most businesses continue to focus on what value they can get as opposed to what value they can give. But when you start to focus on your customers and what they want and need, you create better products and services, generate more business opportunities and sales, develop more loyal customers and increase your referrals. So to ensure you are reaping the benefits and profits of giving value, here are six tips to help you create a more customer-focused business.
1. Stay connected to the needs of your customers
Your business success is directly determined by how connected you are with your customer and their needs. As a business owner it can be easy to fall into the trap of offering, stocking or doing what you want instead of considering what your customers want, but it’s one of the fastest ways to limit your growth. To refocus yourself and remain connected to your customer you need to be constantly asking questions, both of your customers and of yourself. Questions like what do my customers want from my product, service, business or industry? What are their current frustrations or complaints and how can they be improved or solved?
2. Anticipate future needs and trends
While meeting your customers’ current needs is important, in order to future proof your business and really establish your point of difference you also need to anticipate their future needs. Ask yourself, what will my customers want from my products or services in three, five or ten years? What new trends or technologies are going to impact on how they use my products or services? What is not yet being offered that would benefit my customers?
3. Write your marketing from your customer’s perspective
“You” is one of the most powerful marketing words you can use. Not only does it help your reader connect with you when the read or hear your content, when you continually write from the angle of “you” instead of “we” you stay in the mind of your customer and can more easily identify and anticipate their needs and wants. You start to uncover what is important to them, what they value most and what part of your products and services will most appeal to them.
4. See your customer as a friend not a sale
One of the smartest things you can do in your business is to stop selling and start serving. When you change your approach from “how much can I get out of you” to “how can I help you” your customer’s guard comes down, they relax and start to open up to you. When you add value to them and appear to be looking out for their best interests, they become more receptive to what you are saying, value your opinion and are more likely to see you as a trusted expert who can help them, increasing the likelihood of you making the sale.
5. Stay in regular contact
To build a relationship with your customers you need to stay in regular contact with them, but not just through newsletters and email marketing, genuine, personal contact. Talk to them to see how they are going. Keep in touch in a way that makes them feel valued. Be proactive, your existing customers are the easiest sales you will ever make so make sure you look after them and take an interest.
6. Always add value
One of your goals in business should be to give your customers what they can’t get anywhere else, or in a way they can’t get anywhere else. It could be as simple as taking the time to answer all of their questions, giving them an added bonus, sending them a book, resource or opportunity that you know they would benefit from, or having their favourite coffee and snack when they come to meet you. Always be looking at how you could be adding value to each of your customers in order to make their experience with you even more memorable. How do you stay customer-focused in your business?
–Original article by Amanda Jesnoewski (http://www.startupsmart.com.au/sales-and-marketing/marketing/six-tips-to-create-a-more-customer-focused-business/2014051312272.html)