The best way to stay in tune with your customers is to understand your customer; a way to do that is by being your own customer.
Most entrepreneurs start by basically trying to meet every consumer’s needs. This is very useful, but as your business grows, you tend to lose sight of why you even started the company in the first place; your customers.
The best way to stay in tune with your customers is to understand your customer; a way to do that is by being your own customer. For example; if you have a storefront or an over-the-counter business, have a friend visit and report back to you. This way, you have an idea of how your business is being run; how your customers are being taken care of, and you’ll probably identify more ways to improve services. You might see these as more work, but your customers are a top priority. Regardless of how busy you are, regularly check in with your customer experience.
Most people would agree that the main reason why startup businesses fail or can’t seem to start on the product or service they are trying to build is the lack of understanding about the actual customer they want to buy their product. It is a fundamental necessity to understand the target customers; their needs and motivations.
Ways at which being your own customer helps your business
1. You will save more on research.
A way to understand your customers is through a series of interviews, questionnaires and surveys. All these can be very important and valuable but very costly. However, it can’t beat knowing what your customer needs because you are your own customer.
2. You become a better salesperson.
You need excellent sales skills for your business to have any chance of success. Being able to sell your ideas to investors, partners and customers give you that confidence and genuineness about your product. Your founder story is more genuine because it’s your story.
3. You will need passion to go with that confidence to sell your ideas to different people.
But you will need resilience to fuel your determination. In any startup business, you will encounter challenges along the way – your resilience pushes through those challenges.
4. You are more invested in your business’ future success.
You need to put some money into your business, but then you also need to put in time and effort.
An example of a great business builder is Steve Jobs. He built the iPod and its digital music store, iTunes, for himself. He relied on his own instincts which were built on his own experiences. He was in many ways, his own customer.
Look at businesses like solving a problem. Many times, the inspiration for your products can be brought out of your personal experience with that product. Sometimes the solution to that problem might be expensive or occasionally the answers you think of might not work, but then as you think of solutions, you are levelling up in the skill of problem-solving. Sometimes solving a problem without having to worry about how you are going to advertise it to the public can enable you to make something more significant than what you expected the solution to be.