I recently wrote about Why you might have fallen out of love with your business. As I was writing it, my thoughts branched out and I started thinking about other reasons that people get disillusioned with their business.
I realized there is a lot to say about it, so I turned it into a question at the end of that blog – which I have adapted to the title of this blog post. If you are having trouble with your business, or it doesn’t have the shine that it used to have, I think this could be a big part of it.
Hopefully, if you are still working hard at your business, you have a love for all parts of it. And to be clear, you should have a passion for whatever you are doing because if you are just going through the motions, that will only work for so long. You’ll get tired of it, your clients will notice, and everything will go stale.
What I’m talking about is the part that you focus on, the part that keeps you going. The heart of why you do what you do.
Take a second and think: What part of your business do you love the most? And the one you pick may be indicative of why your business may not be your love anymore.
I’m going to tell you the correct answer now.
You should love your clients the most.
After all, they are the ones you are doing this for, and they are the ones who ultimately keep your business going. As I mentioned above, you should have a passion for your product, and at least a healthy tolerance for the business side of it, but your clients should get the most love.
Without them, your business is nothing, right?
So, what can you do to ensure this relationship is at its strongest?
Make it personal…to them.
Yes, you established your business, and for a lot of the legwork, it was about you and your capabilities. But once you have it up and running, you must switch and start putting the focus on your clients. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about them.
A happy client will be much more willing to share their positive experiences with other people, which could translate into more customers for you. Conversely, if they aren’t thrilled with your service to them, they may be equally eager to complain to others. But you definitely don’t want that kind of publicity.
You just have to take a quick look at Yelp reviews to understand this concept.
Now, I don’t mean that you need to personalize every single thing you do for every single client you have. That’s a fast track to burn out. But you do have to listen to them and learn how to read their responses to know if you are on the right track or have veered off course.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to know where you stand with the services you are offering your clients is to give them an easy feedback form to fill out. Even if you have a front-facing business, people may be reluctant to tell you the truth to your face and more willing to provide anonymous feedback.
The key here is to actually listen to the feedback and take what your clients are saying into consideration when making plans for the future of your business. It is important to encourage feedback from as many clients as possible because a repeated observation from them could indicate a major oversight on your part.
You’re not asking for feedback to open a debate; you’re looking for suggestions to improve your product. If someone offers a suggestion that you absolutely do not agree with, you can ask them for further clarification…or you can discount it entirely. But you don’t want to sour someone on your business because you didn’t see eye to eye on something.
Think of clever incentives that might benefit your client without causing a ton of extra work for yourself.
If your business model allows for it, consider establishing a loyalty program for long-term clients. If you make it enticing enough, you can do this to mark longevity, as opposed to people paying for it. You’ll be guaranteeing long-term customers and you won’t be asking them simply for extra money for further benefits.
Keep the focus where it belongs.
Honestly, focusing the attention on the needs of your clients should go a long way to fixing the other things that you might perceive as lacking in your business. Be consistent with your clients and offer them opportunities to “have a say” in the business via their feedback.
Making it personal for them allows you to tailor your business to have the most impact and reach the most people. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and using the positive reviews and suggestions can foster the love you have for your clients – which will ultimately help you love your business even more.
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