Consider the moment your business was conceptualized, turning you from consumer to entrepreneur; you recognized a need for a product or service and took the steps to fulfill it in ways that haven’t been done before. After your business is formed, more than ever, it is important to remain immersed in your customer’s experience firsthand, in order to continue to grow and maintain your business. To better understand customer behavior, you must become your customer.
Immerse Yourself in Customer Experience
Get a more thorough understanding of your own business by becoming your own customer. Immersing yourself in the experience of utilizing your own business’ products and services allows you to better understand your potential customers’ mindset.
- Utilize your own services – from end to end, walk through your customer’s experience. From the functionality of your website, to ease of parking at your location, to wait times for customer service via phone, go through each step from the perspective of your customers.
- Discover where your customers are – Consider precisely where and when you, as a consumer, would need your product or service. No matter how innovative your product or service, if your customers can’t find your business, it doesn’t exist.
- Thoroughly analyze your experience – When you immerse yourself in customer experience, you have the opportunity to strengthen your product or service through self-auditing. Don’t become blind to your own shortcomings; now is the time to be your own biggest critic. Through a consumer perspective, recognize flaws in your business model and use this knowledge to your advantage.
Patronize the Competition
Maintaining the mindset of a consumer, becoming a patron of your competition is a great way to analyze your own business’ shortcomings and find room for improvement. Consider the following when patronizing your competition:
- What might drive potential customers to choose this business over your own?
- How easily was your competition found?
- What was the quality of the product or service provided in comparison to your own?
- What was the customer service superior to what you provide?
- What did your competition do to earn your business?
While it may be difficult as a business owner to recognize why potential customers opt to do business elsewhere, it is important to remain as objective as possible when analyzing your experience.
Maintain Customer Outreach
While becoming your own customer is the ultimate market research, it is important to recognize that you will have biases when it comes to analyzing your own business, no matter how objective you try to be. Regularly engaging in customer outreach is key to growing and improving your business. Comparing customer feedback to your own experiences paints a clearer picture of what it’s like to do business with your company, allowing you to grow your business more strategically, rather than simply relying on your own opinions.
Knowing your customer is the key to acquisition; the key to knowing your customer is to become one. Your success is based on growth, and growth relies on your ability to take on an analytical approach to how you do business.