Over the last several years, Canada has seen a steady climb in the number of small businesses opening throughout the country.
Are you looking to join the group and open your own business? Maybe you've already opened a business and are looking for ways to grow it faster.
Whichever situation you're in, you'll find that your business is more likely to be successful if you work on creating a strong customer focus. Read on for eight great tips that will help you do just this.
1. Think About What's Important to Them
One of the first things you ought to do when working to improve your customer focus is to start thinking about what's important to your customers. You know what matters to you as a business owner. Now, consider what your buyers want.
Do they want to save money? Do they have a particular problem that they're trying to solve? What kind of value do they need to see in order to justify paying the prices that you've laid out for them?
Thinking about what matters to customers will help you identify gaps in your current business strategy. Once you've identified these gaps, you'll be able to make adjustments to ensure long-term growth and profitability.
2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
In addition to thinking about what your customers want, you also ought to put yourself in their shoes when it comes to their shopping process.
What kind of publications do they read to get information on products or services like the ones you offer? Do they read blogs and magazines? Newspapers?
What kind of people have an influence on their buying decisions?
Do they listen to industry experts? Their friends and family? Celebrities and social media influencers?
Think, too, about where they spend their time. Do they volunteer? Are they affiliated with any local organizations?
Answering these questions will help you meet buyers where they are. This, in turn, will increase the likelihood that they'll hear you out and take an interest in your business.
3. Ask Questions
One of the best ways to show your customers that they're important to you is to ask them for feedback.
Send out surveys or talk to customers directly and ask them about their experience and what kind of improvements they'd like to see moving forward.
Not only does this show them that you're focused on improving your business and making it work better for them, but it helps you get specific information on where your business is lagging behind.
4. Stay in Touch
Make sure you stay in touch with your customers, too. They'll be more inclined to believe that they're a priority to you if you reach out to them on a regular basis.
Follow up after you've made initial contact to find out if you can answer questions or clear up any confusion for them.
You don't want to be a pest, of course, but you ought to make sure they know you're still around if they want to continue moving forward doing business with you.
5. Be Clear
Often, when customers get frustrated and feel as though they're not the focus of a business, it's because of unclear expectations or poor communication.
For example, if you tell a customer that you'll get back to them right away, they might assume you mean within an hour. What you might actually mean, though, is within 24 hours.
To avoid confusion and frustration, make sure you say exactly what you mean. Tell them you'll have an answer within 24 hours so they know what to expect. Then, make sure you follow through and meet whatever expectation you set.
6. Anticipate Their Needs
In order to improve your customer focus, you always need to be anticipating your customers' needs.
Reaching out about their potential questions or concerns shows them that you care and are willing to go the extra mile. This, in turn, will increase the likelihood that they'll be loyal to your business moving forward.
7. Use Pre-Emptive Acknowledgement
If you've ever had a waiter come out and warn you that there was a delay in the kitchen that would hold up your order, you've experienced pre-emptive acknowledgment.
Essentially, it involves a worker getting in front of a problem to help defuse the situation and improve the customer experience.
Doing this shows the customer that you care and haven't forgotten about them. It can make a big difference when it comes to turning someone from a one-time shopper into a repeat customer.
8. Say Thank You
It doesn't matter if your business involves selling products or selling commercial real estate. No matter what you're selling, it's important for you to start thinking like a buyer.
When you're thinking like a buyer, think about how you like to be treated when you shop with a particular brand or work with a particular company. You probably like to be thanked and shown appreciation, right?
Saying "thank you" and expressing gratitude can go a long way when it comes to retaining customers and growing a business. Even something simple like sending thank-you notes after a sale or consultation can make a big difference and help to seal the deal.
Improve Your Customer Focus Today
As you can see, there are lots of steps you can take to take your customer focus to the next level and ensure all of your business decisions help to serve your audience.
Keep these tips in mind and you'll have a much better shot at helping your business grow and thrive long-term.
Do you want to learn more about improving customer focus or building a business in general? Either way, we have tons of resources available to you.
Check out our business articles today to continue learning.