What is it your customers want from your business? It’s a seemingly simple question, is it not? But it sure is an important one. Answer it right and you get to pass Go and collect $200, but answer it wrong and you ain’t going nowhere.
Let me suggest that it is those companies who answer this vital question most correctly who usually end up being the most successful. After all, it is the job of any business to serve the market. The better you analyze it and do that, the better your chances of success.
Let me give you an example: Our friends here at Concur Breeze recently launched a mobile app of their popular expense accounting program. It is a very cool tool. With it, mobile employees can import expense data, categorize expenses, create expense reports, and even submit those reports.
Now, why did Concur create a mobile app? Because it is what people want, that’s why. Concur saw that the market is increasingly shifting towards mobility and as such their customers would likely find a mobile app both useful and welcome.
And they were right.
All of which begs the question: How do you know what your customers want? Of course sales are an obvious indicator, but usually that is not enough. Better: Ask them what they want. By polling your customer base, not only do you show them that you are listening to their needs, but maybe more importantly, you find out what those needs are. Once you do that, you can work to fulfill those needs.
There are several ways to discover what you need to know:
- Create a survey: Find out what customers like – and don’t like – about your business. Create a survey, either physical or virtual depending upon your business, and ask about potential new products or services. If you give people an incentive for filling out the survey (like a discount or coupon) you will definitely uncover some valuable information.
- Create an online poll: On your website you can create a poll, asking pertinent questions. This is an easy way to get some quick feedback. You can also do something similar on, say, LinkedIn or Facebook.
- E-blast it: Either on your blog or in your e-newsletter, query your readers. Again, if you give people some incentive for answering you, you should get plenty of valuable responses.
- Use focus groups and telephone surveys: More expensive, these options are nevertheless excellent ways of getting more formal feedback.
Whatever the case, giving the people what they want means staying current and being flexible. Things change. Habits change. It is your job to stay in touch so that you can change with the times.
Heck, even GM is making electric cars now!