Beneath The Surface: Intimate Knowledge of the Customer

Where do you shop for groceries?

Are you a homeowner? If so, where? Suburb or inner city?

Do you have children?

Do you like to travel? 

How do you respond to disappointment? 

What’s the first thing that you do when you wake up? 

To most, these may sound like questions that you would ask on a date.  The truth of the matter is that, if you're a business owner, you are on a date.  A never-ending date.  Business owners are constantly courting customers with the hopes of building a relationship that will stand the test of time.  Like dating, the longevity and strength of the relationship is not attributed to base level engagement.  It is the intimate understanding and serving of the other’s needs that keeps the relationship in tact.  Ok! Enough Shakespeare for the day. 

In all seriousness, the questions that are at the top of this post embody the type of understanding that we all should strive for with our customers.  Possessing this understanding empowers business owners to be proactive in presenting comprehensive solutions that meet their customer’s needs, spoken or otherwise.  In turn, customers or prospective customers are more likely to feel comfortable in their business dealings with you.  A comfortable environment yields transparency and fosters a more fruitful relationship.  Business is also sweeter when you’re dealing with a reliable partner that you trust.   An all-around win-win.

So, ask yourself, what do I really know about my customer? If not today, at some point, take the time to engage your customer in a new way.  Issue a survey, do research, or simply initiate the conversation.  Do whatever it takes to learn something new about those that you strive to serve.