Customers do not grow on trees

It would be great if they did!

Regardless of your industry customers are a valuable commodity. Every company needs more and many struggle with the best way to get them. The most effective way is by word of mouth or referral. It is very simple but never easy. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is an equation that is rarely solved. The lucky ones that do occasionally break through will be the first to tell you that it is far from an exact science.

The days of utilizing more traditional advertising methods have encountered a slow, painful death in many cases. It is especially true for small business owners. The expense of radio and television advertising has become prohibitive for many business owners. The companies that thrive going forward will embrace the concept of word of mouth advertising and will make certain that is has a prominent place at the marketing table.

There is a reason that literally thousands of network marketing companies are in existence. A majority of these opportunities utilize word of mouth advertising to move an enormous amount of products. Your customers need a reason to talk about you. It is your responsibility to put them in that position. If customers are happy with your product or service they WILL tell people. If they are unhappy they WILL tell many more people. It seems to be human nature to want to share poor experiences. I wish it was not true but it is.

The worst mistake any company can make is to assume there will always be more customers. There is not nor will there every be an endless supply. I believe the recent economic challenges have people carefully considering how they spend their money. In many cases customers are spending considerably less than in recent years. There is much less pie to go around. You have to earn someone’s business more than ever before.

As an owner or leader in your organization you have to monitor your relationship with your customer base. I do not mean that you should utilize customer counts and other statistical data to give you a reading of your customers. These types of measurements are certainly useful and often necessary to make other important decisions in your business. These markers rarely are able to give a true representation of the depth of the relationship you have with your customer base.

I suggest that you evaluate using a different approach. For the sake of this discussion just try this out. You may be surprised at the end result. Decide to be your customer and rate the experience through the eyes of an 8 year old. Here is why this will work. If you have ever watched kids this age they are constantly asking WHY? They want to know WHY they cannot stay up late, WHY they have to stay in their yard, WHY they cannot watch grown up shows, WHY they cannot use water pistols in the house, and so on. Well just be your customer and ask WHY the policy makes providing great service difficult, WHY there are extra miscellaneous charges, WHY errors continue to be made in the billing department, WHY the staff have poor attitudes, and so on. Ask these types of questions and commit to finding answers that work for you and your customers. There is nothing like the feeling of turning a corner in your business. Try this approach and turn a corner.

Leave a Reply