Any successful small business knows how important it is to cater to their customers. We hear time and again that customer service is the major differentiator between success and failure. If this is the case, then why are so many small business owners afraid of letting their customers “talk” about them online?
If you take the time to research some of the most exciting and fastest growing brands, you will find one thing in common – they always want their customers advocating for them publicly. Matthew Tully from Harry’s said it perfectly in a recent article about their exploding brand –
“We want to give our customers all the tools and information they need to go on and talk about Harry’s in their own voice,” says Tully. “If we can package the experience, the mood, the feeling that we want our product to create and put it into customers’ hands, then they go out into the world as megaphones for our message.”
Your customers are the life-blood of your business. Frankly, you don’t have a business without them! But that’s not why they matter. They matter because they are the culture that represents your business. No matter how hard you try to create a unique experience, it is your customers that will most accurately and effectively communicate that experience.
It is your mission then to make sure that you do two things exceptionally well:
- Fully understand what your customers have to say about your business
- Make sure they share what they have to say with your target audience
It’s ironic how many small business owners are afraid of these two items. They are afraid that they will hear something that is contrary to what they believe or what they want people to think about their business. And they are deathly afraid of even one customer saying something negative about them publicly – that somehow, one negative review could irreparably damage their business.
It is hard to hear constructive criticism – as hard as we try, nobody is perfect. But in terms of customer interactions and today’s social networking environment, it is imperative you listen and interact. Having a strong brand and having your customers communicate that brand will help make you a better business. It also helps reach customers who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. The larger and more targeted the megaphone, the more effective you will be.
It is not hard to make feedback and online communication with your customers a regular part of your everyday activities. Bizyhood can help. You will get valuable data to make your business better, and you will leverage your best asset – your existing customers – as a marketing asset to reach new customers. How can you go wrong?