Archive for the 'Curiosity' Category
Posted on July 19, 2010
“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘a faster horse.’” Henry Ford
Are you curious about how to make your customers more loyal? Or why they buy from your competitors? Or what could make them spend hard-earned money on your product or service?
One way to find out what your customers want is to ask them. There are market surveys, phone surveys, and focus groups. However, while conventional research methods may produce some quality information, they rarely produce remarkable breakthroughs.
So how can you find out what customers really want out of their relationship with you?
Start by putting yourself in their shoes. If you own an independent hardware store, you may not have the inclination to visit Lowe’s very often. But visiting your competitors can give you insight into how they get and keep customers; it may also tell you what you should not do in your store.
Visit your own website. Click every link and fill out every form. If you sell via your website, get out your credit card and buy something.
Tell me a story.
Rather than asking point blank questions to your customers, give them the opportunity to tell their stories. How do they use your product? How would a perfect interaction make them feel?
Facebook is a great forum for your customers to share stories in an informal manner. Have them photograph how they’re using your product and post it to your business’s Facebook page. Consider hosting a contest or giveaway to a customer who shares their story with you via Facebook.
By becoming a customer yourself and paying close attention to your customers’ stories, you can gain greater insight into their wants and needs—and eventually solve a problem they didn’t even realize they had.
How do you find out what customers want from your business? Let us know in the comments.
Posted on June 30, 2010
“I learn things that make me better at what I do. When you step out you often learn stuff that is so common to someone else and yet never would have crossed your silly little mind.” Lisa Barone in Business Insider
Ran across this great article today over at Business Insider. Lisa Barone describes nine things she’s learned after a year as an entrepreneur. One stood out to me: Seek out other opinions.
This does NOT come naturally to me as a business owner. I, like Lisa, know why I do things and am confident that it’s the best way. But by it’s nature, my brain doesn’t see it’s shortcomings. I don’t know what I don’t know.
So ask around. Learn to be curious about other people’s opinions. They may not change your mind, or they just may. Either way you’ll feel more confident and be a better business person.
Who do you find makes a good sounding board? Let us know in the comments.
Posted on June 21, 2010
“‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice…” Lewis Carroll
So our theme for July is curiosity. As a business owner, it’s easy for me to get sucked into the necessary routines, like explaining how to reset your password for the thousandth time, and forget to wonder about the big things in life. Like why I can’t keep up with my keys or cell phone, but I’ve got a gas station receipt from 2003 in my car’s console.
But I digress. Curiosity in and of itself is a great quality—generally considered to be a key ingredient of genius. But for entrepreneurs, asking a lot of questions isn’t enough; you have to ask the right questions.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Keep an open mind. Don’t dismiss any idea out of hand.
2. Assume the opposite of your opinion. If you think Twitter requires too much energy for not enough return, pretend that the investment was guaranteed to be worth it. How would you work tweeting into your day? What sort of information would you share?
3. Ask irrelevant questions. Sometimes insight comes from unexpected places.
4. Remove labels. Words like trendy, boring and complicated carry assumptions that may or may not be true. Don’t let assumptions get in the way of knowledge.
Curious about Strong Elixir? Ask us anything you want over in the sidebar. Or tell us in the comments what you’re curious about these days.