For most people, it is difficult to recognize when we are headed in the wrong direction; however, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a waste of time and resources (Albert Einstein even called this the definition of Insanity).
Taking a step back and realizing when change is necessary and then implementing strategies for change can make a world of difference both in the way you work and in the way your customers view your work.
Check out the below 10 signs that your customer strategies might need some tweaking, ensuring that both you and your customers are getting the most out of your work together.
Here are 10 signs that you may need to rethink your customer strategies:
You have NO formal customer strategies - If you feel like you’re just rolling with the punches and don’t have control over your customer engagements or work, then you definitely need to think about creating the customer strategies that are right for you and your business! Customer work should be consistent and systematic and you should have processes in place to manage customer scenarios.
Your customer work is giving you an upset stomach - Intuition and emotional connections play a HUGE role in creating a strong relationship with your customers, but they should add to your relationships with your customer, and not take away from them. If you are spending more than 20% of your time worrying about how you will deliver a message to your customers or how your customers will react to what you have to say - then you should rethink your customer strategies and reconsider how you perceive and approach your customer work. The more process-oriented you are, the lower the likelihood that your emotional state will drive your customer engagements.
Customer Complaints are stacking up - Customer complaints are incredibly beneficial to any business because they highlight areas that need improvement, which you may not even be aware of. That being said, if your business receives a significant amount of complaints, it’s a strong sign that you need to rethink your customer strategies. Even if those complaints are targeted at your product, you should take a closer look into your customer strategies, since your customers may not be receiving the tools they need to succeed with your product.
When in Doubt - In Hebrew there is a saying that loosely translated is “If there IS doubt, there is NO doubt”. Meaning, if your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t and it may be time to reevaluate the manner in which you work with your customers. Analyzing your current customer strategies and any available customer data is crucial to finding the reason you're doubtful of the situation. Once you’ve found the core of the issue, you will be able to create strategies that will provide you with the motivation and confidence to do your work.
Your productivity is not where it should be - If you’re working night and day, answering customer questions or requests, trying to grow your business all while doing the actual work that you were hired to do - then you need to re-organize, re-strategize and re-prioritize the way that you work. Your business should not be keeping you up at night! Customer strategies can help you to set expectations (for yourself and your customers), define the level of engagement and automate much of your work with customers - giving you back much needed time, energy and headspace to put back into your business.
You are generalizing, instead of personalizing - How well do you know your customers? What makes them excited? What gets them to buy? How can you personalize your interactions with each of your customers in a way that will be meaningful to them? This may sound like a lot of work but personalization doesn’t need to be achieved on a one-to-one basis - segmenting your customer base will enable you to create the feeling of personalization through automation. When customers feel important and valued, they will be loyal to your business, recommend you to their friends and family, and spend more on your services or products – all of which translates into better profits for your business.
Customer interactions are one-sided - To truly deliver a meaningful experience for your customers, your relationship needs to be based on the idea of partnership! No matter what product or service you are selling, customers will always have something to say and your customers need to know that their opinions are valued and appreciated by your brand. That feedback can be captured in the form of surveys, brainstorming sessions, requests for information or any other type of active interaction with you and your brand. If you are not providing your customers with the space to add value to your business with their feedback, you are losing out on information that can help your business grow and develop based on what your customers are willing to pay for.
Misunderstandings are common - Setting expectations with customers is a must, and if those expectations are not clearly laid out, misunderstandings can lead to project failures, upset customers and even losses in revenue. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re not receiving the information you need from your customers, you feel misunderstood or undervalued, and/or feelings of frustration are in the air - you could greatly benefit from creating customer strategies! It’s important that every email you write, every phone call you have, every meeting you hold follows a predefined framework to ensure that all aspects are clearly understood by all sides.
Your pool of customers is not growing - Your pool of customers is the number of active customers in your funnel. In most businesses, your pool of customers should be constantly growing as you retain existing customers and simultaneously add new customers . In cases where your pool of active customers is at a stand still or even shrinking, you should examine your existing customer strategies - especially if you are losing more existing customers than you are gaining new customers. This will help not only with your existing revenue but also with future revenue, because your existing customers will be your best and cheapest acquisition channel! Existing customers will serve as advocates and help to bring new, relevant leads to your brand.
You’re just not having fun! - Ideally, you chose your profession because you love what you do, you love the impact that you have on others, and/or you believe in the product or service that you sell. If your customer engagements are causing you to lose your enthusiasm or motivation then you definitely need to rethink your customer strategies. Working with customers can, and should, be fun! You should enjoy sharing your knowledge, skills and experience with customers, and if that’s not the case, then you should think about approaching your customer work from a different angle.
Creating a consistent and systematic approach to working with your customers is key to both your wellbeing, your business’ successes and your customers’ satisfaction. Taking the first step and realizing that a change is needed may be the hardest part; but once you’ve committed to prioritizing your customer strategies, you will quickly realize the positive effects that these changes have to other aspects of your business.