There are no companies who fall into success, just by chance. They succeed because people respond to what they’re doing, but ultimately, the people are in it for themselves. Nobody treats a business as if they were a charity; they only support them and give them business if it ultimately serves one of their needs. As such, a good angle to approach your business is to think about how you can improve your customer’s lives, in both large and small ways. We take a look at a few tried and tested methods below.
Fixing a Problem
What is your company’s reason for being? It’s not enough just to want to make money; that has to be a secondary concern. If you’re good enough, it will come, but that target should be in the back of your mind. The primary line of thinking should be: ‘what problem is our company helping to solve?’ Ultimately, you’ll be helping to improve your customer’s lives if, by giving you business, they somehow have less to worry about that before. Everyone loves a company that does away with one of the big problems of life.
Understand Your Customer
If you’re going to help your customer, then you’ll need to understand who exactly your customer is. This is something you can figure out during the market research stage of your business development. When you’re putting this together, you’ll want to think about things such as the age, income, and general lifestyle of your intended customers. Once you have this information, you can think about the overall concerns and goals that they may have, which you can then use when it comes to making your business decisions. It will be the lens through which you view the vision of your company.
Everyone has their areas of expertise; for everything that falls outside this area, they look to other people and companies, who possess the information that they lack. Whatever industry you’re in, you’re going to have the know-how and expertise to fill in the blanks for your customer. So make sure you’re sharing it with them, through ebooks, blog posts, or podcasts — whichever best lends itself to your type of business. As well as helping your customer to better understand your products and services, you’ll also be establishing yourself as an authority in your field, which is an effective marketing tool.
Make Things Easy
There’s nothing worse, as a customer, to think you’ve found a business to work with, but then getting frustrated at the buying process. Companies who shroud their order process in mystery or who include too many steps are not helping their customers; they’re making life more difficult. The success of Amazon has more or less been built on the idea of making ordering as painless as possible — follow that mentality! You might have your preferred method of receiving orders, but if it’s too out of sync with your customer’s way of doing things, then it might come back to haunt you.
It’s always worth remembering that you don’t have to make your customer’s lives easier through your core business operations. You can help them in more general ways, too. Things like sending helpful emails with advice, or including free swag with orders, for example, benefits your clients in more abstract ways. It will also help your business, too, since you’ll be cementing your company into your customer’s lives in a way that extends beyond what you offer in terms of products and services. Look at sending out a useful email each month, and also buying some custom car air fresheners or USB pens. These are unexpected bonuses for your customers, and they’ll function to further build your credibility as a company who looks out for the needs of the people.
Act on Feedback
You’re not going to get everything right. Even if you had a good idea of what your customers would want from your business, they’re still only guesses, albeit educated guesses. One way to refine your offerings is to solicit feedback from your customers; they’ll tell you what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they’d like to see more of in the future. Once you’ve got the feedback, the next step will be to act on it. You’ll be able to walk your to success, if you just listen to what the people are telling you. More generally, you’ll want to have an eye on the future, and always be looking at ways to improve.