Do you ask your customers for help?

I have recently launched a new service for the processorising side of my business.  Nothing outstanding in that, but I wanted to share the lessons I’ve learnt whilst I was pulling this service together.

I knew the service I was offering had to change for a number of reasons – some were personal reasons and some were about my perception of the effectiveness of the current service.  The alternative I had come up with was OK in principle but I knew that it wasn’t going to meet the needs of my potential customers and so I had been a bit stuck for a while, trying not to offer my old service but having nothing else to replace it. 

My progress changed when I had a conversation with a potential customer and I ended up asking him how he would like it delivering.  The following week I had another conversation with a different prospect and asked her how it would work best for her.  Armed with this information I found a new way of delivering this service which met both my requirements and the needs of these potential customers. 

Now I know they are only 2 people and their needs might not be the same as everyone’s needs, but it did get me unstuck and help me develop something that I think will work.  Whilst it might not be the answer for all my prospects, I am hoping that it will be the right solution for some of them, and actually some of them is all I need.

So my lessons here are:

1.       Ask your potential customers what they want – it’s no good offering a service that isn’t going to fill a need.

2.       You’re never going to please all the people all of the time.

3.       You probably only need a few customers so No.2 doesn’t matter as long as you’re pleasing someone.

If you want to find out more about the programme I’ve developed (and take advantage of the special launch offer) click here.

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“I have 422 friends, yet I am lonely”

I will start by saying that I’m not anti-social media, either personally or in business, however it is certainly not the be-all and end-all of my world.  In fact, people at my church will think I’m really pro-social media as I’m currently pushing to have a church Facebook page.  The reality is, this is where people are and if the church is to be relevant we need to meet people where they are and not expect them to come to us … but that’s a whole different conversation.

I heard an interesting discussion on the radio a few weeks ago.  There was a lady advocating social media, but she made the point that in this virtual world, people do need a real place to go.

I was having a conversation with my mum just last week about the fact that I hardly ever phone anyone any more.  There’s a misconceived assumption that we’re in touch and up-to-date because we see Facebook posts and if I do communicate with my real friends (as opposed to the ‘friends’ on Facebook that I hardly even know) it’s mostly via text.

The reason I bring up these points is that I saw a video last night (ironically, via Facebook) about the fact that whilst we all have hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook and are constantly in communication with them, we are becoming less social as we all become buried in our phones and tablets, sat on our own.  The video is worth a watch if you’ve got 5 minutes for a poignant reality check … Look Up by Gary Turk.  

And I think that the message for our business is that whilst social media has a role to play, we must not forget the value of meeting people and looking them in the eye, that’s really when the relationships are cemented.   And if you can’t meet someone because of distance, a phone conversation is much more personal than an electronic conversation (whether by email or social media platforms).  I am guilty of finding it much easier to email rather than pick up the phone.  It’s something I’ll have to think about.  What about you?

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