Are you aware of your customer’s version of your business?
Here’s a fact that you may not be aware of until now: Whatever you think about your business, your customer sees things differently.
Their perception is the only thing that counts. And, as we all know, they vote with their wallets.
Therefore here’s a challenging question for you today: When was the last time you asked your customer regarding their opinion of your shop?
After that last order?
Last year sometime?
You may want to build out a strategy for this. When you have intimate knowledge of your customer’s perspective of your business you can do a lot with that information.
In this article, I’ll detail five ideas for using that information. Plus I’ll give you a survey that you can steal and use in your shop.
Idea One – Content Strategy
I was speaking with a decorated apparel industry shop owner yesterday and she was lamenting their lack of social media content. “We just don’t know what matters to our customers!”, she said. “It’s hard to create any content that sticks.”
That’s when I asked if they ever simply talked with their customers. Start with some easy questions. Maybe a few like these:
“How likely are you to recommend us?”
“What are we doing right?”
or “What are we doing wrong?”
The answers to those questions, or others you may want to pose, can instantly become an idea generator for your marketing content. Instead of hoping that whatever you pull out of your butt and post online with the dream that it will connect somehow, you can use these answers to build out a content strategy for what really matters to other potential customers.
It’s like taking a test where you already know the answers. Because your existing best customers are giving you the clues as to what matters to them most.
Writing that blog article or filming that video doesn’t seem that daunting now when the idea is served up to you on a silver platter.
Idea Two – Clone Your Best Customers
I’ve written about this before, especially with using the 80/20 Rule. (remember the top 20% of your customer base gives you about 80% of your revenue for your business)
Those top customers, especially if you can narrow down why they are happy with you, can provide you the demographics for you to focus on finding other customers just like them.
What you are after is the clarity of segmenting and profiling where to find your best customers. Connect the dots.
Where are they?
When do they buy?
What do they buy?
How much do they buy?
What common traits do they share?
Can you identify their unique problem that you can solve? Your best customers like you for a reason. What value are you bringing them?
If you can identify the biggest challenge these customers face, then you can work up an approach to find more customers with the same need. You’ll know the language and specifics. The data that matters. You can use this in your marketing to bring in more leads.
In fact, you may start to get known for particular expertise of a market segment and your potential customers will start seeking you out. That’s called reputation.
Idea Three – Expanding Your Offerings
When you get a grip on your customer’s worldview, you’ll know what they will want next. It’s no secret that finding a new customer is harder than keeping an existing one. But did you know that one loyal customer can be worth 10x as much as one single purchase?
But you need to give them a reason to order again from you. You need to stay in touch and top of mind.
Can your shop provide more solutions to their challenges? Is there an add-on to a purchase that you can develop, such as banners, promotional items, or even building out online stores for them.
Are you getting in front of them with new ideas? You can’t hit a home run unless you are at the plate swinging at pitches.
So are you at the plate? Or, are you waiting to get into the game?
Develop new ideas and get onto the playing field!
Idea Four – You Need A Referral Engine
News flash. It absolutely doesn’t matter what you say about your business. To most people, it comes off as noise.
Blah, blah, blah, t-shirts. Big sale! Blah, blah, blah.
However, if your customers are the ones that are shouting your praises…or even better dragging new customers to your doorstep, then you can quickly scale.
That happens when you build a referral engine. Do you have one?
Referrals are your most important sales leads because they come from existing customers. To potential customers, referrals mean something.
Think about your own life. When that new restaurant comes to town, you probably won’t go unless someone starts singing the praises about one of their dishes. “You gotta try their nachos! Out of this world!” So, based on that feedback, that is where you are going to head the next time it’s nacho time. All based on that referral.
Your business is no different. As referral leads convert 30% better than other types of leads, you want to put some emphasis on building this strategy out.
Start with asking.
“Hey Bob, thanks for your recent order! Do you know anyone that we should be talking to about the same stuff? We’d love to expand our network.”
Get this into your MailChimp automated email strategy too.
Idea Five – Be The Problem Solver
Your customers all have problems. Do you know what they struggle with constantly and how that matches up with what you can do?
Consultative selling isn’t firing off one crazy idea after another or pushing a “sale” that might not be a good fit for their purpose. It’s taking your experience and resources and putting together an idea that will solve a particular problem. Can you make things easier for them? Do you have the answers?
One fantastic book that is on the market right now is “Building A StoryBrand” by Donald Miller. I highly recommend it.
In the book, Miller explains that if you understand your customer’s problems and set yourself up as a guide, it’s easier to show them what success and peril may look like if they don’t go with your plan.
Be a trusted guide. Not a salesperson.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
Click here and take this quick survey about my blog. I like to keep it simple and direct. Steal (and modify) these questions, but feel free to add your own.
The first question is simple, “How likely are you to recommend us to a colleague or friend?”, and for this question is a scale from 0 – 10. Zero equals not likely, and ten equals very likely. The fancy term from this survey is called a Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This is a standard benchmark used to gauge how likely someone will refer your company to someone else.
It is basically their overall feelings regarding your brand. The other questions are used to gather important feedback. Make sure you don’t ask too many questions, as the longer the poll the fewer the responses you will get.
Be sure to thank your participants of the survey, regardless of how they answer. I added contact information but didn’t make it mandatory.
Gather this information and then use that data to create new strategies as outlined above.
You can do it!
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” – Roy H. Williams
“The buyer, the prospect, the customer expects you to have knowledge of their stuff, not just your stuff.” – Jeffery Gitomer
Got a minute to take another survey?
One of the things that I’m never tired of hearing is how people got started in this industry. It comes up a lot.
But, nobody is writing this stuff down. Until now.
I want to record how people got into this crazy business. Here is your opportunity to tell your story on how your shop got started, who influenced you, and what you would like other’s to know about you.
Make your mark on history! Tell your story, and share your journey.
I’d like to collect about 100-200 shop stories to put them in a free downloadable eBook. I’ve already collected a bunch, but I need yours to complete my project.