I was speaking with a client the other day about ways their business could connect better with their customers, and I shared a simple method that anyone can do, with minimal investment in time and resources. Make the customer journey through your business.
What I mean by that is to literally approach your business like you’re a customer, looking to place an order, arrange a service, or get help, from you.
But there’s a catch.
To truly make the customer journey, you must become your “target” customer, not yourself. And that can be a truly difficult challenge.
The problem is, as we run our businesses, we often lose sight of the client’s perspective. We know our business, we know what we do, how we do it, and what our products and services are purchased for. We know, at least we hope we do, who needs us, and why they should buy from us and not the competition.
It sure sounds like we know everything we need to, right? The gaping hole in that theory? We don’t know what we don’t know.
There’s an old parable about a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before, and the men learn and imagine what the elephant is by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, say the tusk, tail, or foot. They each describe the elephant based on their “limited” experience and each person’s description is different. They become suspicious of each other, each believing that the others are being dishonest, and a fight ensues. The moral of the parable is that as people, we tend to claim that our point of view is an absolute truth and we ignore other’s point of view, which may also be equally true.
So, what does that mean? It means we can’t “assume” that what we think about our business is true. We might believe that we have the best service, the best product, the easiest solutions for our clients. The client, however, might have a totally different point of view.
To learn that viewpoint, become the customer and engage with your business from the other side of things. Call to place an order, arrange a cruise, rent your Bed & Breakfast for a night. Go through your web presence and see if it’s clear and easy to follow. Can you find what you need, easily, or are there clear gaps in your digital presence that you’re filling in because of knowledge you have?
Once you’ve made the journey, you may have a new perspective on your business, and ways that you can begin to improve your connection with your customers and start your journey to building a better relationship with your clientele.