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HSCS-004 – Give your customers what they really want (Pt4, Run your business like Gordon Ramsay)

February 9, 2009 by  

Do you honestly know what your customers and prospects really want? In this episode we discuss a reality check for business success. Ask yourself some hard questions. Plus, checkout some free/inexpensive tools to help you find out what you need to know.

Topic #1 – Find a need, fill a need

Angry pirate - click to view source creditDo you honestly know what your customers and prospects really want? Perhaps your stubborn attitude is the reason why your sales are down.

Are they really happy? Ever survey them?

  • Use customer comment cards? (How was the experience? Would they recommend you?)
  • Go out on the streets and literally ask people in the neighborhood what they think? (Ever heard of you? How do you compare to the competition?)
  • Put a sample in their hand to see reactions.
  • Ask them to complete an online survey (or paper survey if necessary).
  • Invite them to your office for lunch.
  • Invite them to participate in an advisory board.

Be prepared for honest criticisms:

  • Functional (Overly complex? Too simplistic? Opportunities for improvement.)
  • Aesthetic (Butt ugly?)
  • Cost (Overpriced? Underpriced?)
  • Value / ROI (As compared to competition. Both factual and perceived.)
  • Quality (Have standards been slipping?)
  • Service (Too little? Too much?)
  • Lack of support

What are the right questions to ask? Well that’s a topic for another time. Just don’t overwhelm your customers. Ask straightforward, meaningful questions.

Topic #2 – Tools to find out what your customers really want

ChasingSome of my marketing research colleagues might be gagging on the simplicity of these suggestions. But reality is, most small+mid-size businesses cannot afford formal methodology based research. They need directional info quickly and cheaply.

Free polling software:

If you are already using an email marketing service, some have built-in survey applications:

Having difficulty with fielding customer support inquiries. Checkout popular paid services like:

This is part 4 of my series: Run your business like Gordon Ramsay. We’ll break down key observations on how to turn a failing business into a success. Chef Gordon Ramsay has successfully launched several restaurants and in his popular show, Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, BBC America), he helps failing business owners identify their weaknesses and implement significant positive change in the way their business is operated. Love him or hate him, his keen business skills and insistence on high standards have made him a success.

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Comments

2 Responses to “HSCS-004 – Give your customers what they really want (Pt4, Run your business like Gordon Ramsay)”
  1. Donna says:

    Thanks for mentioning Zoomerang. Customer feedback should always be a major focus, even more so during economically challenging times. Online surveys are one of the best ways to gain insight into your customer's mindset in order for you to market your product/service/brand as effectively as you can – especially when you can do the research for very little $$ or even for free.

    • Thanks for commenting, Donna. Zoomerang is a good tool and the paid versions are well worth the money from my past experience with them.

      I also checked out the blog posts on the Zoomerang blog. Great info. Thanks for sharing.

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