4 Tips for Business Owners to Be More Customer Oriented
Business owners Depend on Customers to Thrive
As a business owner, you depend on your customers to thrive. They are the lifeblood of any enterprise, which should make them the ultimate focus of everything you do. Likewise, those same customers depend on you to provide the highest quality and most reliable service possible. You can't just promise customers that you'll meet their expectations. You need to provide them with concrete evidence that your business recognizes and understands their needs. Customer's want to know that you are putting them first. Here are four tips to help you tailor your business to better meet customer needs and prove that they are your priority.
Pursuing a business degree
Putting a few years of owning and operating a business under your built can teach you a lot of things. Building that type of experience is good, but it's important not to let yourself believe that you've learned all there is to know about the business world.
No matter how successful you've been so far, there are countless businesses in the world that are all experiencing success in different areas. If you don't make the effort to reach out and learn from what your peers are doing or have done in the past, you will be doing yourself - and therefore your customers - a serious disservice. Don't limit your scope to only what is right in front of you, instead seek to broaden your horizons and learn what's out in the world around you.
The world of business is constantly changing, and it can be an easy thing to be completely taken by surprise by new developments. Getting involved in higher education is a great way to keep your mind sharp and ensure that no opportunities pass without your knowledge. By pursuing a business degree from an accredited university, you can learn about historical successes and failures that may well expose you concepts that you otherwise would have overlooked.
Since most degree programs require a fair amount of contemporary research, it will also allow you to focus your expertise on current practices and business skills. This will help you solidify the future of your business. You can then use these skills to help better your business and seek out lucrative new opportunities. Most importantly, school will help you expand your network which will help you reach more potential customers, and maybe even understand your current customer base better.
Learn to use big data
"Big data" is a term being thrown around a lot in the world today. It's used to describe the amount of data that is generated by the web traffic of modern businesses. In other words, all the information that Google and other websites record from users surfing the internet and making transactions online. It's called big data because, well, there's a lot of it! Companies like Google, Amazon, and Netflix have seen huge success by analyzing this type of data to find out exactly what products or services their customers want most.
This is an incredibly useful tool, as it has the potential to save a vast amount of time and money on marketing the wrong things to the wrong people. Big data analysis can include analyzing sales trends for your goods or services, evaluating developments in the financial world and how they might affect you, or even graphing common web searches by the demographic you market to.
Norwich University's Big Data Poll
Business leaders who agree that failing to embrace big data will cause companies to lose competitive positions
Business firms that have already appointed a chief data officer
Estimated amount that will be spent on big data initiatives in 2018
Working with big data requires you to be as thorough as possible, in order to make the best possible decisions for yourself and your customers. It comes with a few unique challenges as well, not the least of which is the sheer amount of information that must be processed.
In order to effectively use this tool, a business needs a team member who knows how to collect and reconcile data, has a working knowledge of large-scale data storage, and be able to correctly interpret and explain the significance of that information. It's no mean feat, but many modern companies are proving every day that it can be done. If you consider yourself a small-business owner, than the world of big-data might not be for you.
If your business is moderate to large-scale, or if you are seeking to break out of your small-business niche and into the world of larger businesses, then this tool is definitely worth your attention.Hiring someone who knows how to collect and analyze this type of data is probably an easier first step than trying to learn it all on your own.
Also, it's important to remember that the study and use of big data is still a fairly new field. Lots of new practices or techniques could be coming in the near future to make working with it even easier. One thing is sure, however, and that is that working with this information will do more than almost anything else to help you be exactly what each of your individual customers needs you to be.
Often times your customers might have thoughts about changes or improvements they would like to see in your company. Sometimes these are unreasonable, but quite often they are valuable suggestions that can significantly enhance your business. Unfortunately, they might not always feel comfortable expressing them or be able to articulate them without prompting.
Maintain an active dialogue with your customers through means like your company website and social media. Be receptive to any ideas that might be put forward to you. You are under no obligation to implement any change that someone asks for, but taking the time to seriously consider the ramifications of each suggestion is a good idea.
Keeping your website optimized and your media updated helps tremendously with this bit.Just one customer could make a suggestion that could drastically change your business for the better if implemented. It just requires you to be willing to take new ideas.
Better protect data and personal information
It's one of the biggest technological fears: your personal information such as your I.D. or credit card number beginning compromised through sophisticated hacking technologies. As a business, you owe it to your customers to ensure them that their personal information is safe. By using methods such as making sure your website is properly encrypted and asking for proof of identification with any credit or debit purchases, you show your customers how much you care about them.
What do you think is the most effective way to protect customer information?
Be a Human Being
Your customers are human just like you. Treat them that way. Sometimes, businesses can get too focused on profits and forget the individual aspect. Profit is of course important to any business, but remember that the only reason you are able to make money is because there are people in the world who are choosing to support you and your business. There should be a system of mutual respect in which both parties, company and customer, consider each other and their needs.
You can show that you care for your customers by having events for customer appreciation, creating a customer loyalty or customer rewards program, or even hosting an event of some sort if you want to go above and beyond. By showing your support for your customers, you can count on their support for you.