As business owners, I don’t think we spend enough time putting ourselves in the shoes of our prospective customers. We don’t think enough about how to create the best possible experience for our customers.
We ask what a customer expects when they walk in the door. We try to anticipate what they are searching for online. Those are the questions and the possible answers on which you’ve built your business. You’ve got a solid understanding of what your customer wants and needs; if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have a customer base.
But there’s a difference between understanding your target audience you’ve worked to convert to customers and actually putting yourself in your customer’s space. This doesn’t necessarily mean mapping our what you believe to be their thought process. Generating the ideas that will lead to genuine customer satisfaction, can come from examining your own experiences as a customer, identifying the great ones and deconstructing the experience to figure out why it stuck.
Recalling that experience and the things that contributed to your satisfaction will help you slowly slip out of the mindset of an owner and put you in the headspace of a customer. These are simple questions: What was your need? Was your need met? How was it met? What made that experience unique or special? What about the experience makes you want to go back in the future?
Ask these questions of yourself, your employees and then, ask yourself: Are people thinking about a notable experience they had with my business, or am I just blending in with my competition?
Don’t allow this to open up a whole new host of questions regarding past customer dealings. Instead, think about that positive experience you were just recalling and what you learned about being in the buyer’s shoes. Think hard about all of the elements that went into creating such a good experience for you and how you can do something similar for your customers. Think hard about your competitors and how they do business, and how you might offer an edge that they can’t, now that you’re freshly in the mindset of a potential buyer.
A general understanding of your market demographics isn’t enough. Going beyond to understand the needs of your customer and with that keeping in mind what it’s like to have your needs met in a manner that surpassed your expectations will do more to guarantee their business, now and in the future.
What do you think? When was the last time you had a great customer experience? Were you able to use it to benefit your own business? We’d love to hear your thoughts!