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Anita Campbell’s post at Small Business Trends, 7 Things You D on’t Know About Me, got me thinking. What would happen if we asked our customers something like this? What would happen if we actually knew what those things were?

Here is a list of things you might not know about your customers – but should ask.

  1. Their actual application of your product or service. At least once a year, check in with your customers and find out how they are actually using your product or service. Think Arm and Hammer baking soda and the thousands of new uses that people are discovering for that product and how bicarbonate of soda — a commodity has been packaged and re-packaged profitably.
  2. What’s important to them. Understanding what’s important to your customers when they are buying what you are selling will open up new emotional benefits that you may not have considered. Finding out what trips their trigger about your product or service can help you define new offerings and set better, more profitable prices.
  3. Your customer’s story. Take a moment to find out your customer’s story. What was the defining moment in their business? What are their goals and how can you help them?
  4. Who are their customers? If you understand who their customers are, you might be able to get a clearer picture of future products or a better forecast. When we learned that our customer’s customers used our product for vaccine packaging – it suddenly became obvious that we needed more inventory in the summer when they were packaging the bulk of the vaccines.
  5. What are some of the insane requests their customers have? Their customers may have requests that your customer can’t meet, but maybe you can. This would make you a vendor for keeps.
  6. What’s stopping them from buying more stuff from you? Sometimes you just have to ask the obvious question. Often your customers don’t know or understand all the different products and services that you offer. Use this as an opportunity to help them simplify their purchasing.
  7. How can you forge a closer relationship? This is another obvious question. If you already have a good relationship, why not ask for a closer relationship. Are there opportunities for co-branding or partnering that would help each of your organizations penetrate a difficult market?

I don’t know about you – but I found this exercise a little difficult. That tells me that I still don’t know as much about my customers and clients as I should.

What are some things you would ask your customers?

 

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