You might own your own business. But you know what? You are not the boss. Even though your name is on the door, your customers are the boss. Sure, they might not make decisions about your company’s strategic plans, but they are the ones who pay for them.
Surprisingly, many business owners haven’t woken up to this and they are paying the price. According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, less than 15 percent of customers are loyal to a brand.
Don’t think for a moment that your business is somehow immune from this – it isn’t. With that in mind here are four reasons your customers don’t like your business – and what to do about it.
Reason 1: Poor Customer Experience
While you might be a business owner, you are also a customer. Given this simple fact, you would think business leaders would find it easy to put themselves in the shoes of their customers. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and it is shocking how often companies deliver a less than acceptable customer experience.
Why does this happen? It is usually because the voice of the customer goes unheard. While one can see how this can happen in a large, bureaucratic corporation, it is hard to fathom how many small business owners do the same thing.
To make matters worse, many business owners don’t even know their customers are unhappy. The warning signs might be there – declining sales, increased complaints, or a lack of repeat business – but they tend to blame it on outside factors.
Does this sound familiar? Well, the good news is that it can be fixed.
Start by connecting with your customers. Don’t just thank them for their business, instead get to know them and ask them why they chose your business over your competitors; then ask them what you can do better. Technology has made this easier than ever before and you want to use this to your advantage.
Reason 2: Your Product Stinks
Let’s cut to the chase there are times when your product isn’t very good. Sure, you could run a quality analysis but for the purposes of this article, let’s just say that your business is losing customers because your product stinks.
This happens to be a very real problem for many businesses but it’s not insurmountable. To get started, go back to the voice of the customer and find out how they use your product. From there, walk through the design and production processes to determine what steps need to be taken to improve results.
Granted, you might not be able to improve overnight but by taking the steps to improve your product you will show your customers that you care and this should help win them back.
Reason 3: Your Customers Don’t Value What Your Business Does
Wow, that surely is a mouthful, and let’s face it highly-commoditized industries do exist. But it is even more common to find a business owner who uses this as an excuse.
Even in competitive markets, it doesn’t need to be this way as you can differentiate yourself by offering an end-to-end logistics solution for industrial customers or maybe you can connect with your customers better than your competitors do.
The point is that you don’t need to fall into the commodity trap where prices pressures can make or break your future. Instead, look for innovative ways to get your customers to love what you do, and you’ll find yourself laughing all the way to the bank.
Reason 4: Your Bad Days are Really Bad
It doesn’t matter if you think LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or Bill Russel is the greatest ever. What all three have in common is that they brought their very best every night. Remember, there are no shortcuts to the Hall of Fame.
You might be thinking that you are not a machine – this is true. But, part of your job as a business owner is to inspire your team to give their best. As such, you need to invest in your development as a leader.
This starts by setting the tone for your organization, then by hiring people who can walk the talk. But hiring isn’t enough, you also need to make sure that every employee starts off on the right foot.
To do so you need to focus on their first day on the job by giving them the tool and support needed to keep your customers coming back. This might take some work in the beginning, but in the long run, you will be developing leaders who can help your customers to love your business.