You have hear the phrase, “Give the customer what he or she needs or wants.”
As a business owner, you know that is true and so you focus on providing goods and services that meet those needs. You focus on specific solutions, quality, and timely delivery. You work hard to ensure that the product works right the first time and continues to do so over time.
Not only do you focus on providing the product or service that the customer needs or wants, but you take the next step and build a service department that also meets your customer’s needs. Friendly and knowledgeable staff, good return policies and procedures, and a top-notch service department.
Another part of meeting that want or need is to make sure your customer and potential customer knows you exist, know what new items you have in, understand she or he can depend on you staying in touch, and sees that you are a part of the community as well. You work shoulder-to-shoulder with them, service on committees, and are supportive of community events. That’s marketing that meets their wishes.
But I have one more question. Does your loyalty or rewards program give the customer what they need or want? (Notice I am assuming that you have such a program in place. In this market, they are becoming more and more a part of doing business).
I ask this question because of a recent email I received from a rewards programs. It was an offering me the choice of several awards based on my past history with the company. My problem came from the fact that none of the rewards were anything I would use. The implication was that they had looked at my history and selected these rewards. But they hadn’t. With the power we have in data analysis today, this should have been an easy task.
My frustration was heightened when the next day I received another offer from a different rewards program. This one had been clearly tailored for me. What a difference it made when I opened the email.
Lesson learned – When you promise to give the customer what they want, be sure to take that effort all the way.
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.