Meeting your customers needs to own your market

It’s tough out there, and everyone is competing for the same customers. As business owners, we must be constantly vigilant to continue the relationships we have with our current clients and customers, and also find new ways to win over new ones. It’s really not about reinventing the wheel; more so it’s about meeting our customers needs. So what do customers demand? I think in today’s society more scrutiny is placed on trust. We want to make ‘”safe decisions” and we want to do business with a company we can trust. For e-commerce websites, having a history of the company and the business owners’ backgrounds can give customers a sense of familiarity. This is a time where we can Google almost anyone; why not include staff biographies? Including positive reviews and recommendations also go a long way to building trust and confidence.

Price is of course an important factor, and having been in the store today purchasing a new laptop, I can tell you first hand what works. Keep the basic products people need to buy at a very reasonable price.To make money, add-on extras. The same goes with value of products. It’s easy to compare products online now, but what captures a customer’s attention are free services such as free shipping, coupons, two for one deals, etc. You can create incentives like a free consultation which I was given today,and of course always include a  money back guarantee.

Many of us shop online now because it is so convenient. If you are an online business, make the checkout really simple, and make it even easier if someone is a return customer. I purchase my contact lenses online, and the moment I log in, all of my prescriptions for myself and my family are readily available. There is an in-depth explanation of all new products. When my prescription changes, I can easily return any unused product. If I have a question, an email address and a phone number are easily found. There has never been a waiting line on the phone for this company.

And my last suggestion to meeting customers needs is to give back to the community in some positive way. Whether it be your company has gone green to local food and toy drives during holiday seasons, people notice when companies give back. Good citizens inspire trust and confidence. Here in South Florida, we are nervous about the effect of the BP oil catastrophe on our environment. Already local businesses and large companies are assembling task forces of volunteers to patrol the beaches, report any sick wildlife and keep ahead of the impending crisis. This differentiates you from your competition. It’s just not all about money.

photo credit: JSmith Photo