Have you ever assumed you knew what your customers wanted, spent time, effort and money on creating a product or service, only to find out you were wrong and no-one bought it?
Don’t worry, many of us (including myself) have done just that at some point. I spent about a year of my evenings and weekends doing that once and I have to say it was one of the biggest lessons I ever learned.
However, there is some good news, we don’t need to make that mistake ever again, it just requires a little tweak to your business mindset. The easy and fool proof way to find out what your customers want is to simply ask them.
Now I know this may sound really obvious, but why do so many business owners still either try to guess what their customers want or assume they already know?
I did it and to be honest I knew better at the time, but for some crazy reason I still thought I knew best and did it anyway.
What you need to remember is that your customers don’t want the same things you do. You might think you know what they want but unless you’ve actually asked them, you really don’t.
Wants and Needs are Different
Another important point is that being an expert in your chosen niche you may actually know what your customers need and what is best for them.
But, what they want and what they need are very often two different things.
I don’t want to confuse things here but your customers will buy what they want, not always what they actually need, so bear this in mind.
Your job is to find out what your customers want and then first and foremost deliver exactly that.
Then when you’ve established a “know, like and trust” relationship it’s time to introduce them to what they actually need as well.
How to Survey Your Customers
Ok, so how can you find out what your customers really want?
You can easily carry out a survey and there’s some good free services out there for creating online surveys really easily.
I’ve just started to use a site called SurveyMonkey. They allow you to create customised online surveys to send to your customers.
I believe the number of responses is limited with the free service but they also offer a number of paid services too. I find though that even with twenty or thirty responses some clear patterns will begin to emerge.
Nowadays with social networking being as popular as it is you can simply ask your followers on Twitter or your friends on Facebook.
They’ll usually be very happy to tell you what they want from you, after all it’s in their best interests to do so.
Even a small survey with a few responses is still much better than guessing. You may be very surprised the first time you analyse the results and what you’ll find will be priceless.
In my experience this is the one improvement you can make to your business mindset which can potentially save you the most wasted time, effort and money – simply ask or find out for sure, don’t ever use assumptions or guesswork.
About the Author
Jason is a freelance Software Engineer who is a keen blogger, has run a number of online businesses and is also in the property letting business. His interests include researching and teaching the business mindset, his goal being to learn all there is to know about how to be a successful entrepreneur and to pass this information on to others. For more information visit: http://BusinessMindsetExpert.com or follow him at http://Twitter.com/JRKtm