2010 resolution follow-up #5 – What do customers think?
What do your customers really think? If your company has changed in the last year (and most have), it’s a good time to look at your relationship with your customers. Learn what they really think about your company and the products and services that you offer.
Obviously what your clients think of your company is critical to your success. This isn’t a situation where what you don’t know can’t hurt you. But it’s tricky, because clients sometimes will not tell the whole truth – it’s hard to tell someone they work with every day that something is not working. And they are probably nice people who don’t want to hurt your feelings. In Minnesota, there’s a culture of being nice to a fault, where we might not be able to tell by talking to clients day to day that there’s something wrong.
But it’s our (the company, vendor, agency, consultant, internal vendor, etc.) responsibility to know what is going on. So ask. And, you might want to hire someone to help you get the full story. We did, and we learned a lot:
- Customers know mostly just what you do for them day in and out
- Although you may do a good job at one thing, they will not necessarily make the leap that you can do something related
- Perceptions about what you do best may be different from customer to customer
- History is history, what happens most recently is what people remember (what have you done for me lately?)
If you’re like us, we thought that as we changed our clients automatically understood the changes we had made (and benefit). Things move so fast that in a daily business that a “what’s new” discussion may not always happen.
So make a point of pulling your customers aside periodically and updating them on what you do. Pretend they only know about the services or products that they use or buy on a regular basis. Just because they are familiar, doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate a well thought out recommendation or customized presentation. Especially if they have the opportunity to learn something in the process.
And connect with your customers in other ways – Facebook, Twitter, your Website – there are many ways to connect and find out what they want. The more you know, the more you can react to, fix and be proactive the next time.
We’d love to hear what your experience has been in getting feedback from your clients or customers here or at http://www.facebook.com/dtrio – tell us what you think.