Posted by News Express | 24 October 2016 | 2,453 times
This week in our business writing tutorials, we would be explaining the item – your customers – the importance and role it plays in the whole gamut of business planning and strategy management.
Who are your customers? Who are your products or services meant for? Who are your targets? Where are they and how do you get them to patronise and keep patronising you?
Why would they leave out others to patronise you and why would anybody recommend or refer you for patronage?
Whatever the business is – whatever the product or service – think through who it’s meant for, who is the target, what values you are bringing to the said target, etcetera.
What are your strategies of reaching them and expanding the coverage? How do you intend to meet and keep meeting their specific and special needs to maintain and grow your market share?
Do you know your customer and what you are offering? What values are you bringing to the market? Does the market need the product and does it need it now? What’s the unique thing about our product that differentiates it from those of your competition?
What’s our strategy to reach the customer? How do you retain and grow them?
How do you develop a bonding between you and the market – that is brand development, etcetera?
Who is your customer?
There are many possible customers; buyers, users, influencers, administrators, and distributors. So who is your customer? When looking through a jobs-to-be-done lens, we see that they are all trying to get a job done, but not the same job. Of course, companies want to help any and all potential customers get their unique jobs done better, earning their loyalty. The key to success, however, is knowing who the primary customer is and the hierarchy to follow to optimise value creation and profits.
When asked ‘who is your customer?’, companies often tell us that they serve many customers. This includes internal and external customers, distributors, buyers, influencers, employees, and so on. Calling them all “customers” is common, even acceptable. But it perpetuates a myth that misleads. They are not all customers in the true sense of the word. Companies are making a mistake when they give all these constituents an equal or greater priority than they give their primary customer. This leads to focusing time and energy in the wrong places, inhibiting a company’s ability to create value and grow.
How do you decide who the primary customer is? Concluding that the distributor, the purchasing department, or the buyer is the primary customer is almost always a mistake. Products and services exist to help someone get a functional job done, not so that someone can distribute, buy, or install them. Of course, companies have to make sure its distributors, buyers, contractors, sales team, and employees are all happy, but they are not the reason the company exists. When deciding who the customer is, the focus should always be on the people using the product. They are the ones for whom value is being created and the reason why the market and the product exists.
This can be a little tricky when a company sells its product as a component in another company’s product. In this case, the primary customer is the designer of that product. The designer is hiring the product to help deliver a specific function. It should be noted, however, that more value could potentially be created for these designers if the company knew more about their customer. Knowing more about the end users’ job reveals an avenue for growth that is often worth pursuing.
Focusing on the wrong primary customer leads to failure
It’s hard to conceive that the people you sell to, collect revenue from, and talk to every day of the week are not your primary customers.
For example, IBM thought ComputerLand was its primary customer, not the computer user. But then Dell and Apple created offerings that took the distributor out of the equation. The result? ComputerLand went the way of the dinosaur, and IBM eventually got out of the PC business. But computer users didn’t disappear. They were, and are still today, the primary customer.
The first step in profiting from the customer is knowing who they are. So work through the confusion and the resistance to make the right choices, so value can be created
How to make customers fall in love with your business
Nurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a successful business. In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important.
At any moment, an unhappy customer can share their opinion with the masses through social media and the web that will negatively affect your business. That’s why it’s even more important than ever to create an excellent experience for your customers to help develop your company’s relationship with them into love.
For example, we all know the trials and losses La Casera drinks (company) has been weathering for some time now, for over a year (some negative online rumours about the unwholesome and not fit for human consumption of the drinks, etcetera, has been on) and how it has led the organisation to become prostrate.
Walt Disney said it best: “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Creating love between your company and your customers can help scale positive word of mouth that’s absolutely priceless. And referrals too, which expands the organisation market size.
Creating a customer-focused culture of this nature is a business opportunity that should not be overlooked. Most businesses are failing when it comes to the customer experience, which is your opportunity to swoop in and enchant those same customers into falling for your company.
We would continue with this article next week as we discuss further. You can contact me for business advisory services and training – send me a message via WhatsApp or SMS.
•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org (07066375847).
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.