One Size Does Not Fit All

One Size Does Not Fit All

Customer, Featured, Process
You may think your product or service is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that everyone can benefit from it. That may even be true, but everyone isn't going to want it. We all try to find the sweet spot for our customers the one thing that will grab them and keep them. The problem is that one size does not fit all. One customer will look at your product and decide that it is too expensive where another will be drawn to the high price because it conveys exclusivity. Some people  will be drawn to the simplicity of a product where others decide it doesn't do enough. There are different sweet spots for different audiences and they often contradict each other. Your job is to define who your…
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What Goes Into Your Pencil?

What Goes Into Your Pencil?

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Customer, Featured
When was the last time you really thought about your pencil? It sits on your desk until you need it. Let's face it, you probably take it for granted. Take a moment and think about what had to happen for that pencil to get to you. Graphite had to be mined and refined. Lumber has to be chopped down and milled. The graphite and wood have to be transported to the factory. The pencil is manufactured, packaged and shipped to the retailer. That's all before you purchase it and it arrives at your desk. Why are we examining a pencil? That pencil is just like your business. Your customers don't know what goes into the products or services you provide them with. They don't know how you agonized over each…
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Tech Only Matters If It Affects The Customer

Tech Only Matters If It Affects The Customer

Communication, Customer, Featured
A few years ago I attended an event in which most of the attendees were programmers. As everyone introduced themselves they talked about what programming language they used and why it was the best. When it came to my turn I told them something none of them wanted to hear. I said, "Your customers don't care what programming language you use. They have a problem and all they care about is that it is solved." Several years have passed since that meeting and I still meet web developers who insist their websites are the best because of the tech they use. Technical people fail to understand that the end user isn't impressed by the technical specs. They are impressed by how much easier something makes their lives. If your technology…
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Is Personalization Limiting Choice?

Is Personalization Limiting Choice?

Communication, Customer, Featured
Go online and very often you'll see a note that says something like, "You may also like..." recommending another article or item to buy. That recommendation comes from sites tracking your activity, collecting your data and making recommendations based on it. The drawback is that the "personalized" recommendations are also based on what people who the algorithm thinks are like you have done. What the personalization is also doing is steering you in a specific direction. By sticking to that direction, you are missing out on other options. If you're using these personalization tools in your business, they are useful for focusing your customer where you want them go. Connecting your customers to content and products that you want them to see is useful. However, what you (and the algorithms)…
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Fiduciary Responsibility Isn’t Just For Finance

Fiduciary Responsibility Isn’t Just For Finance

Customer, Featured, Focus, Leadership
By law financial advisors are required to act with fiduciary responsibility. This means they are required to put the client's best interests before there own. This is a concept that isn't just for financial advisors, it should be applied in every industry. Your customer is the reason you are in business. Your customer is the reason you get paid. You are there to solve a problem for your customer. For these reasons and many others, you should be putting your customer before yourself. It is a step above customer service. It is about trust. When your customer knows that they are taken care of they come back over and over again. They refer more clients to you because they know you will take care of the people they refer. In…
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Some People Will Never Buy

Some People Will Never Buy

Customer, Evaluate, Featured
Recently online radio broadcast service Spotify went public. When it did, analysts discussed their business models. The service offers two services, ad-supported and paid. One analyst stated that Spotify could convert all of its ad supported users to paid users. While this is a nice thought for a company it is unrealistic. The truth is some people will never buy. Once you hook customers in with a free or ad supported product, history has shown that only a small percentage convert to a paid product. This was a problem that many newspapers faced when they debuted their online versions. They started as free access sites that relied on ads. When ad revenues failed to meet expectations, they tried to put news behind a paywall. They found that very few of…
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What Happens When You Don’t Change With Your Customers

What Happens When You Don’t Change With Your Customers

Customer, Featured
At the time of this writing, another Oscar ceremony has been telecast. While the ratings appear to be breaking records, its not a record anyone wanted to break. The 2018 Oscars are poised to have the lowest ratings in the show's history. Why? The simple answer is that the show has two very different audiences: the audience in the auditorium and the audience on television and those audiences have less and less in common. The Oscars are very clearly focused on their audience in the auditorium. The awards ceremony was created to serve the needy people desperate for recognition. The audience is restless to hear their names and to pontificate on issues they know nothing about in an effort to prove they can do more than read from a script…
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Partnering With Clients

Partnering With Clients

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured, Leadership
"Partnering" has become one of those overused buzzwords that has lost its meaning. Every company talks about partnering with their clients. While it is imperative that you become a partner to your client, without understanding what that means, the term is useless. Partnering is not selling: Selling products or services to your client is not partnering. That's what every business does. Partnering with a customer does not mean offering discounts. Partnering is not about sales. It is about the service you give during and after the sales. Partnering requires understanding: I get a great many solicitations from companies that claim they want to partner with me. Further reading shows they have no idea what I do and simply grabbed my contact information from a mailing list. To be a partner…
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How Do You Make Your Customer Feel?

How Do You Make Your Customer Feel?

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured, Improvement
On Friday, November 3, the iPhone X became available in stores. As with most iPhone releases, people lined up to get one. Reporters covering the event talked to the first person to get one. He didn't talk about the technology or the price. What he couldn't stop talking about was how Apple made him feel. Everything he talked about was about the experience, not the product. Creating an experience is key to customer loyalty. When your competition is only a mouse click away, that experience keeps a customer coming back. It's about how the customer is treated, what they see, hear, smell and feel (if you're running a restaurant it's also about taste). An all encompassing experience is what gets people to come to your location or event. It's about…
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Go Beyond Demographics

Go Beyond Demographics

Customer, Featured, Improvement
It's important to know who your customers are. When you ask most business people about their customers, they respond by giving you the demographics of their audience. It's good to have demographic informations such as age, gender, income, and geographic location. However, demographics can be misleading. Political analysts will tell you that according to the demographics of the country, Hillary should have won the presidency. The problem is demographics just skim the surface. What you need to understand your customers are psychographics. Psychographic information includes habits, hobbies, spending patterns and values. Demographics explain “who” your customer is, while psychographics explain “why” they buy. Knowing the psychographics of your customers enable you to create real connections with them. To gather psychographics you must have real conversations with your customers. Get to know…
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