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know your customers

“Your Customer Should Be
The Hero of The Story,
Not Your Brand.” 

Donald Miller

Long before Seth Godin introduced us to his Purple Cow, before Jack Trout led us In Search for The Obvious and generations ahead of Donald Miller bursting on the scene with StoryBrand there were business owners putting their customers ahead of all else. Yes, even before Coke put the world atop a mountain and showed it how to sing in harmony: small business owners crawled out of bed before sunrise to create some of the worlds more customer centric businesses the world has ever known.

It may seem like much to do about nothing my talking about putting the customers first, but I think if you take a minute or two to dig into the importance of putting the customer first I you’ll understand why it’s so important.

In fact, nearly 100 years ago a tall young man owned a candy store where he knew what his customers liked and most of the time he knew them by name as well.

Know your customers,
and build your marketing
around what they want.
This simple idea ignites ROI. 

A Quick Story:

One as relevant today

to your business and marketing

as it was 100 years ago.

The young man was my uncle, and each morning he’d open the door of his small business hours before his customers stirred from their warm beds.

Pete’s first action each morning was to pick up a long handled squeegee to wash the glass in the front windows of his small candy shop. He’d then polish the glass in the front door till it was streak free.

Once the windows and the door were gleaming he would arrange the window displays by adding and subtracting new candy creations along with the seasonal objects he’d made by hand. That done he’d then open for business with a flip of the sign hanging on the door.

I asked Uncle Pete more than a few times why? Why did he spend over an hour each morning before opening the candy store cleaning the glass and creating new window displays? Pete told me those two things he repeated each morning let the customer know he cared about them as much as his business. Always Know Your Customers wants and needs he’d tell me.

Cleaning the glass was to make the store shine and sparkle, creating new displays was to tug at the curiosity of the people passing by. People stopped each and everyday to see what new delights my uncle presented in his shop windows, they’d wave and smile and of course many would come inside to buy at least one piece of candy.


Get To Know Your Customers Day

Does your business provide individual services and know people by name? Or, are you guilty of grouping people into stereotypical demographics?

Get To Know Your Customers Day is a great opportunity to zoom in on what your customers want and what they need, there is a difference.

Every 3 months in the U.S. during January, April, July and October a day is set aside to treat your customers extra special, and to learn more about them

Large businesses that want to let their customers know they are more valuable than mere purchasers of their products and services have taken the lead in customer recognition. However, the opportunity for smaller businesses with close and loyal clientele may be even bigger than many realize.

Small business owners and mangers are often closer to the ground, closer to the action. This closeness allows for more interaction with your customers. Take the first step and put a few pins on the calendar, it’s a great way to motivate taking action and getting to know your customers better.

Get To Know Your Customers Day lets us say thank you to loyal customers. Without the loyalty of our customers, where would we be?

Customers should get more than just a good deal on the product their asking for. Customers want to feel as though their choices and spending matter, they want you care about their needs.

Use this national business holiday to throw a little thank you party or get them a gift. If you are a small independent business with a brick and mortar presence create an event at your store.Make it an event open to the community. Send out invites to everyone on your client list along with public announcements.

Make a plan for those who you already have a relationship with and create gift bags for them. But give everyone who shows up a special discount.

During the event take the time to get to know your customers better. Learn their names, their reason for coming to your business and their favorite products or services. Don’t be afraid to apologize for not doing all this sooner. Make everyone feel valued.

If your business is only based online, you can treat your customers with some of the same approaches you’d use with brick and mortar locations. Place announcements on your website and social sites, email everyone on your mailing list for insider deals. And give some thoughts to games and online competitions.

Don’t ignore people on Facebook and Twitter who leave comments and leave your own comments on their social media photos thanking them for their loyalty. Also, address any complaints with the promise to do better for customers moving forward.

I’ve created a page for each of the months this special day occur, each page has ideas for your business to use to celebrate.

The benefit of this quarterly event are countless but it’s mostly an opportunity for you to check in with customers often.

You can then make regular business and interpersonal improvements based on the feedback you receive. The event becomes a rolling diagnostic tool for your business. The notes of everything you learn for effective change will pileup from quarterly event, imagine pouring over all the great info.

Update your customer register and your mailing lists with all those personal details you’ve gathered. This should allow you to create more personalized emails about future offers. You can also call them by name when they return. These little touches will help to make the customer feel valued and increase their loyalty and recommendations of your business to others.

If you’ve missed the most recent event another one will pop-up soon. The 4th Thursday of January, April, July and October is when Get To Know Your Customers Day occurs.

That means you have plenty of time to prepare and create something special for your customers. Make the most of Get To Know Your Customers Day. It could improve your customer relationships, your sales and your brand reputation.

Always Striving For More

Your Web Presence Is A Reflection Of You And Your Business

Think about your website as both a reflection of your business and of you, the business owner. This info is available for everyone to see 24/7. And believe me people will poke around your website to find out if you’re the company they want to do business with. Here are 8 questions every business needs to answer for the foundation of their website.

Today in the 21st Century people expect answers to their questions before they spend time or money with a business. Your competitors are creating information for their customers, so you need to ask yourself at what level are you creating information for those same customers.

  1. What are you doing that is more unique, different or better than our competitors?
  2. What is it you do that creates a better customer experience than your competitors do?
  3. How do you stand behind your products and services?
  4. Are you encouraging your customers to ask lots of questions?
  5. Why should customers do business with you?
  6. Have you hired the right people and why?
  7. Are you always on the look out for trends and new products?
  8. Are you active on Social Media with news, discounts and events?

…and much, much more!

What Do They Want?

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Business Obstacles Derailing Creativity

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