Customers are an amazing source of information that can be really profitable. The problem is that most people are afraid to talk to their customers and to ask them for their opinions. Often this is because they are scared of what their customers are going to say.
I find this somewhat intriguing, but I recently had a company survey all of my past and present clients and I felt a similar nervousness in anticipation of all of the negative things that I imagined they would complain about. Of course I had no grounds for this insecurity. I have excellent relationships with my clients and very open and honest communication, which was reinforced by the feedback, but I was still nervous.
Some of the best ideas for improving sales could be right under your nose, but you simply can’t see them because you are too close to your business. Talk to some of your best customers, take them out for a coffee or go and see them. Implore them to give you ideas and recommendations to improve your business in any way possible. You may be surprised by the responses and the ideas they give you.
I came across a hardware store that ran a competition each week. They offered a $50 gift voucher for the best idea on how to improve their business. It was open to both staff and customers and they got many great ideas that made them a lot of money. Clearly this was a very smart and simple idea to get a host of people working to build their business.
Everyone looks at situations slightly differently. A million dollar idea could be in the head of one of your customers but they haven’t bothered to tell you about it because they don’t think you would be interested.