Published on Feb 4, 2019

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An important element when starting or expanding a successful business is knowing who your customer is and what they want.

Many people start or buy businesses without thinking about these key questions, let alone finding answers.

If you take the time to research and define who your products or services are aimed at, then you can tailor how you attract and sell to those people.

For example, if your customer is a female aged 85 you are probably wasting your time using social media as a major part of your advertising campaign. You might be better off placing ads in your local paper instead.

Alternatively if your customer is a 19-25 year old it’s doubtful that you would reach them in the local paper.

So it is essential to know who your customer is. But how do you find out?

Market research

Even if you did this when you were writing your business plan before you started your business, in reality it’s an ongoing process. You need to do this even if you think you already know the answers.

Ask your customers for feedback, a lot of feedback.

Think of all the things you need to know. What do they like, or not like, about the product or services you offer? What about the ways they can buy and pay? Or the hours you are open?

Find out why people do business with you. Is it:

  • Your great location and because they can easily get a carpark?
  • your unique products?
  • because they can shop in a store and/or buy online?
  • because you deliver?
  • your great product knowledge and customer service?

The business plan – did I get it right?

Once you find out more about your customers you might find yourself changing things about your business. You might for example currently think you are selling products, but after market research you discover you are in reality selling experiences instead.

A good example is a winery. When people come to your cellar door to buy wine, it’s more than just buying wine. They can probably buy wine more easily in town at the bottle shop.

When they come to you it’s about the experience. It’s the location, the atmosphere, the product knowledge, and the customer service. It’s tasting the wine. And then, hopefully, it’s buying the wine.

And when they take the wine home and they have friends over, they don’t only share the wine with their friends, they also share the story behind buying the wine. They tell the story of their experience.

It may be tempting to only remember the nice things people say about your products and service and dismiss negative feedback. But don’t ignore it because it tells a story you are not prepared to hear. Pay attention for precisely that reason.

You can learn a lot about all aspects of your business when you ask your customers for feedback. There are some great guides for understanding your customers and how to seek feedback.


FREE Enhance your Business’ Customer Service Workshop

The FREE ‘Enhance you Businesses Customer Service Workshop is being offered by Cessnock Chamber of Commerce to all local businesses within the Cessnock LGA. TAFE NSW have partnered with the Chamber to offer this exciting workshop.

Cost: FREE
Where: Cessnock Leagues Club – 1 Darwin Street Cessnock
When: Tuesday 19th February 2019
Time: 9:30am to 11:00am
A networking morning tea will take place at the conclusion of the workshop