The Blog.

Your Customer Owns Your Business

Author:
Dave Meier
Category:
Strategy
Date:
April 19, 2011

So many businesses forget who is in charge of their success. Their customers are. If they don’t like what you do, then you’re in trouble. If they love what you do, then your business will thrive.

Forget About You

Whether it is a website, flyer, brochure or some other way to promote a business, I see a lot of business with some blurb along the lines of

“Company X has been in business the last xx years. We have experience in this and that. Our aim is to provide something. We are really great and go the extra mile. Get in touch with us now”

Give me a break! If I am the average person I don’t care about you, your business, how long you have been in business or how great you are and how many miles extra you go. I care about me, and I want you to do the same.

I recently talked to a business who renovated their showroom. The renovation is very nice and costs a lot of time and money. They showed me around and were delighted with all the new areas of the showroom.

I asked them how they decided on the renovation. They said they needed a fresh look because it was a bit dated. I then asked if they had asked any customers or potential customers what kind of showroom they would like. The answer was NO.

The showroom may look nice to me, but I’m not their customer. If I was their customer, I might have other requirements in a showroom. They built something they THINK the customer should want rather than something they KNOW the customer wants.

Be About Them

Everything you do should be about your customer. It should go from your slogan or mission statement right down to the questions you ask them.

The questions you ask should let the customer know they are in the driving seat. They should be worded towards them.

One of the most important questions I ask potential clients when we speak for the first time is “have you any worries about this project”. The answers often surprise me and are really helpful, but more importantly, I am showing this person I’m interested in them.

The same goes for content on websites or any other promotional material. Rather than just saying you have years and years of experience… explain to people what this experience means for them.

I could tell you all about the project management system we use at Hidden Depth, but you don’t really care about that. Instead, we highlight the benefit first.

Why: You’ll know what to expect and when
What: Project management that is simple yet effective

Showcase and respond to customers too. Testimonials and case studies are not just about saying you done some work.

If you talk about past projects in a cold analytical manner that is what the relationship between you and the client will be perceived as. This may not be the case, but perception is the reality.

Case studies can be your chance to show that the people you have already worked with mattered. Treat clients well, then showcase their success from working with you. By putting your clients on a pedestal, others will want that same treatment.