Friday, 18 January 2013

Do Your Customers Like You?

It’s no secret that we as consumers choose to buy from people (businesses and brands) we like and trust. So if I asked you what your customers think of you – do they like you? Do they love your products and services? Do they trust you? Do you know?

If you’re a fan of ‘Mary Queen of Shops’ or ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ and the like, you will know that when Mary Portas or Gordon Ramsay attempt to turn around the fortunes of an ailing retail store or restaurant, one of the first things they will do is to ask customers of that business what they think about it. What they like about it – and mainly what they don’t. Yes, it makes for compelling TV viewing, but there’s a sound resonance behind this approach also.

Namely that once you know what your customers like or don’t like about your business, you can create a strategy to address these things.

Many businesses fail because they create a product or service for which there is insufficient demand. Another reason for failure is due to poor marketing strategy. If there is a proven demand for your product or service, but your marketing messages are either not reaching the right people at the right time, or your messages are not being understood, then you will need to take steps to address this.

Customer complaints can be good for business

The most successful businesses thrive on customer feedback – not only do they encourage it – but they actively seek it.

“How was your shopping experience today? Tell us at and you could win a £25 voucher to spend on your next visit.”

And did you realise that your customers who complain could turn out to be your biggest allies? That’s right, if you acknowledge the validity of their complaints quickly and put them right, research shows that these customers are likely to become your brand ambassadors – possibly for life.

As a business owner it may be more palatable to bury your head in the sand and blindly carry on as you are. That’s perfectly natural. As human beings we all want to be liked and most of us like to think we are good at what we do, but unless you seek feedback from your customers regularly, you may never know the truth of why people buy from you and why they don’t.

You may wish to engage a marketing consultant to set you off on the right track with your customer feedback campaign. Or if you are on a tight budget there’s a really simple ‘two-minute customer satisfaction survey’ you can download from the ‘Marketing Donut’ website – just insert your business details and logo and you’re good to go. You can of course customise the feedback form as you wish.

And once you know what your customers really think about you, you will be able to drive your business forward with confidence.

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