As business owners, it’s easy to get caught up in how we want things to work. Your business is your life’s work, and of course you want to control it as much as you can. Unfortunately, this sometimes means we lose sight of what our customers think and want.
It’s time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes! This will not only give you the opportunity to see your business from a different perspective, but also improve your marketing efforts and help you better tailor your message to your audience.
How exactly do you put yourself in your customer’s shoes?
Ask them what they think
A short customer survey can give you a lot of insight about how you’re doing and what you could do to better serve your customers. What’s even more helpful is to ask regularly through an automation. Simply create the survey and automate it to send out at after a purchase, at specific times of year, or after a certain amount of time of doing business together. You can even post the survey link to your social media platforms to ask for feedback!
One important thing to note about surveys: If you ask a question, be prepared to act on the feedback. If your survey responses indicate there’s an issue with a specific area of your business, be ready to commit to fixing it. There’s nothing worse than asking what your customers think and then ignoring what they tell you.
Draw insights from past experiences
Spend some time reflecting on past customer experiences that were meaningful to you. What makes them stick out? Are there lessons there you can apply to the customer experience with your business? For example, when you did were a customer at another small business, did they do anything specific that made you feel seen and heard as a loyal customer? How did they communicate this with you?
Be sure to balance these insights with the other aspects of listening to your customers though, as not every customer will think like you or respond to things the same way you would. We’re all different people, so be sure to factor that in.
Don’t dismiss the negative
Harsh reviews and bluntly honest emails or DMs can be hard to stomach as a business owner. You’ve put your heart and soul into what you do. When someone says they didn’t find any value in your work, it hurts. But don’t be so quick to dismiss every negative review. Sure, some people are just negative and want to complain about things, but sometimes there’s an element of truth in those negative reviews. Look at any negative reviews or feedback you’ve received and try to identify any common themes. Was there a mismatch between expectation and reality? Was there a particular point in the customer journey where frustrations began? Try to pinpoint what’s actually causing a negative customer experience, then spend more time focusing on how to improve that.
When was the last time you reached out to customers to ask how you’re doing or analyzed your reviews for any common themes? It’s a great way to put yourself in your customer’s shoes!