If you’re launching a startup, it won’t take you long to realize that the customer comes first. Whether you’re aiming to make a splash in the world of hospitality or retail or you’re offering tech, marketing or accounting services, you won’t get very far without making clients your priority. If you’re new to business, and you’re eager to get off on the right foot, this guide should come in handy.
Understanding what your customers want
The key to success in business lies in giving clients what they want, but how you can you make sure you do this? One effective method is finding out more about your customers. If you’re opening a shop, for example, what do potential customers think about opening hours, what kind of price points are they looking at and are they more likely to shop in-store or online? A simple questionnaire, an online survey and some face to face meetings and focus groups can provide you with a wealth of information, which could really help you to make a positive start.
Today, convenience often lies at the heart of business success. People don’t have much time available to get things done, and if you can offer a service that makes life easier, you’re on the right track. Think about designing and using invoice templates and software that allows customers to pay and manage bills online or creating an app that enables them to place orders or make appointments at the touch of a button, for example.
Encourage your customers to leave feedback, and listen to what they say. If you run a restaurant, are people asking about the possibility of takeaway meals or an early evening set menu? If you have a hair salon, have customers called up about evening appointments?
Interacting with your clients
In business, providing a friendly, customer-centered service can make all the difference. As the owner or manager, try and interact with your client base, and retain a presence, even if you don’t spend all your time in the office, the bar or on-site. Pop in from time to time, take a moment to speak to clients, and encourage them to leave comments on the website or on your social media pages. If you haven’t already got a website, you’re missing a trick. Even if you don’t offer services, such as making reservations, online, you could still benefit, as many people search the Internet before they make a decision. Take the example of the restaurant, for example. If you’ve got a website, you can check out the menu, read testimonials and reviews, and get a feel for the place before you book a table. You can also provide a feature that enables you to chat with clients or respond to questions or comments.
In business, the customer comes first. If you have a startup in the pipeline, it’s wise to put your customer first from day one. Ensure that the service you offer is client-focused and client-friendly. Make it easy for customers to get what they want, interact, and learn from market research and feedback.
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