A lot of businesses fail because they only have the inside-out not outside-in view of their business.
What do we mean by this? By the inside-out view, we mean that everything about the business – its products and customer experience – is viewed from the perspective of the owner’s own processes and systems. Some hotels are often guilty of this. Hotels often have the inside-out perspective. You are welcomed by being told that the hotel will do anything to make your stay more comfortable – you only have to ask. But as soon as you request something that falls outside of the hotel’s systems and processes, you often find that the hotel is not able to deliver. This is a victory for the hotel’s processes and systems and a defeat for the customer!
A truly customer-centric organisation will focus on the outside-in perspective. It’s first reflex is to look at everything through the lens of the customer. This drives how they create a fantastic customer experience – one that does not attempt to fit the customer into their own systems and processes in a rigid and inflexible way.
As a small business owner, you too need to resist the temptation to only look at everything through your own systems and processes.
To avoid falling into this trap, it is helpful to get feedback from customers. This will prompt and nudge you to constantly look at everything you do through the customer lens. This is not to say that the customer is always the final arbiter on what you should so. There could be certain issues where you need to take into account what is practical and profitable from the standpoint of your own business. But you should first start by getting the customer perspective, and then work out how close you can come to delivering this ideal.
In our online programme The Success Blueprint: Seven Excellence Tools for Small Business we provide a range of simple to execute and low-cost techniques to help you get inside the head of your customer and find out what really motivates them, and we show you how to use this to shape a differentiated offer and great customer experience.
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