Rather than different business tips, I am focusing on customer requirements and loyalty this week. In these times it is just as vital to keep your current customers as it is to find new ones. This approach gives you some insights into how to understand what your customers want, and thereby ensure you deliver it to a) keep them b) sell more/deliver more value to them and c) use the information to find more customers with similar needs. It is also a way to manage your competition who are always on the lookout to spot a gap. So, 4 key questions.
1. What is most important to you? Ask them to tell you the top 3 which can include both product/service quality and/or support.
2. How do we perform? (useful to have a scale here – e.g. 1-5 where 1 is most important).
3. Who is really good at this? Even if they don’t use another supplier, they will have an opinion.
4. What is it that makes them so good?
To test your understanding you may wish to put yourself in their shoes and think how they would answer. Then, check to see if you were right.
So on to this week. Well actually it is two weeks ago as I have not been well this week. ~The sad news is that 1) I managed to not publish this blog a couple of weeks ago and….. no-one noticed! So, cheer me up. Let me know if you did notice!!
On Monday I attended an excellent event run by Enterprising Women and Womenta focusing on how winning business awards can help your business. Tuesday and Wednesday were “service development days”. The evidence is in the form of additional pages added to my website. Thursday was an amazing day. I went to London and attended the HR Business Network’s “HR Transformation in the Public Sector” at the Tower of London. Followed this with lunch at Mossimans (my friend has a membership), then on to the House of Lords for a political debate on Women and Political Reform, followed by a networking reception at Westminster Abbey Gardens. The last two events were organised by The Pink Shoe Club-a business women’s network in London. www.pinkshoeclub.com. Apologies to my male readers – sometimes women do have all the fun! Today, I interviewed Bev Hurley the Founder of Enterprising Women for my article on Women in Leadership Roles.
Reading for the week: “When I Loved Myself Enough” by Kim McMillen. A thoughtful list of personal notes that remind us that we should not expect more from ourselves than from others, and to be less concerned with our “failings” than our strengths. Amazon has 16 reviews of 5 stars.
About three months after launching my business, my new online accountant asked me a question. “When are you going to start full-time?” She was referring to my invoices not quite totalling up to my expenditure! Her latest question is “you do realise that business expenditure should not cover personal entertainment?” This related to my expenses for attending The Pink Shoe Club. Obviously she thought this was some sort of sizzling, private, adult club. Whilst I appreciate my accountant’s diligence in scrutinising and guiding my steps in the tangled and confusing pathways of tax claims, disbursements and allowances, I am somewhat perturbed at her lack of trust in my honest endeavours to build my empire. Perhaps she reads my blog and harbours a concern that my style is a little irreverent and flippant? My revenge is to share the following with you. “How do you recognise an extrovert accountant?”. ….”They look at your shoes when they are talking to you”. I do realise that I have now “cooked my goose” and deserve all that will surely follow. I can only hope that she realises that I do, in fact, honestly appreciate her skills and attention. I feel far safer having received her final summary “that’s fine” email than undergoing no spotlight interrogation at all. So, all you accountants out there – you do a fantastic job and at least you don’t borrow our watches to tell us the time!
Remember the hallway ceiling disaster? I shouldn’t have mentioned it. We now have the bath upended in the hallway, accompanied by its new friend, the bathroom door, resting against the wall. The bathroom is now open-plan, necessitating a great deal of off-key singing when in use. As James has completed his third set of commercial pilot’s exams, I can only hope that he can navigate his way to the toolbox and replace the door soon. I would not dare to expect the bath to actually be sited in the bathroom anytime soon.
You can find more on the customer requirements and loyalty at http://ccconsulting.org.uk/id10.html
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