There are quite a few mistakes that businesses–large and small–regularly make. I’m talking about the kinds of oversights that are truly detrimental to the company’s success. So, what are those mistakes? I interviewed Scott Moyer, president of DriveSavers Data Recovery, who shared the six most common ways he sees businesses drive their companies into the ground, and more important, lots of tips to avoid those pitfalls. Here’s what NOT to do:
1. Ignore customer feedback.
One surefire way to run your business into the ground is to disregard your customers. And yet, companies do this–a lot.
Without asking your customers the right questions and listening to their answers, you’re not going to have a very clear understanding of what they want from your product or service. How can you continue to fill their needs if you don’t know what they are?
Here’s a story you may be familiar with:
A series of customers ask for something that, on the surface, simply doesn’t seem realistic. So, your company regularly chooses to completely disregard these requests. No one ever takes time to consider what deeper needs might be met or how this request might be approached differently. The next thing you know, you’ve lost these customers to a competitor who finds a way to fulfill the customers’ wishes in a creative way.
For example, let’s say your company specializes in lawn fertilizer. Fertilizer must be reapplied throughout the year, and customers frequently ask if your company offers any way to automate the reapplication process so they don’t forget.
Fertilizer requirements vary widely depending on type of lawn, the season and many other factors. As a result, creating an automated fertilizing solution that is actually good for the lawn simply is not possible.
But, is there another way to help these customers? How about an app for their smartphones that can assist in determining a proper regimen for their lawns and provide reminders? Or how about partnering with a service where a lawn specialist goes to a customer’s home to test the lawn, discuss the best fertilizing schedule (using your products) and provide ideas for a reminder system.
Customers may not generally know what it takes to make your product or provide your service, but they certainly know what it’s like to use it. And if they’re looking for something more, you can bet they will find it somewhere else.
3 ways to meet your customers’ needs:
Develop an app. This serves a dual purpose: Meeting your customers’ needs and also keeping the name of your business constantly at their fingertips and top of mind.
Research product or service expansion. Maybe you can sell them what they want.
Partner with other companies who already fill these needs. This is particularly useful when partnering with these companies might directly increase your sales, as in the example above.
3 easy ways to stay in touch with your customers and their needs:
Quick, easy surveys. It’s helpful to include a small incentive for people to fill these out, such as a sample of your product.
Virtual “suggestion box.” Include a link on your company website.
By: DAVE KERPEN