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How to Increase Customer Value

Your staff are the eyes and ears of your business.  They are the source of the market and operational intelligence you need to be able to build a thriving business.  From our work with business owners it is evident few businesses are successfully tapping this source of powerful information. 

Business owners often assume that people will take the initiative and volunteer information on any problems, challenges or opportunities that exist for the business.  Our work with employees suggests they only really share their insights when they're asked directly. 

The Vital Questions

To help business owners tap this resource we have developed a series of questions to ask your team.  Perhaps ask one of these questions at the end of each team meeting and get their feedback or set it as an activity for the following meeting. That is, invite team members to come to the next meeting with a response.

Listen

When you ask the questions your aim is to listen closely to the response.  Look for the learning and insights.  Ask more questions of clarification.  If people are challenged to express their thoughts accurately then ask for examples.  Your job as the Manager and facilitator of this process is to learn.  You must resist the urge to analyse or criticise.  Perhaps you think what they are saying is misinformed or inaccurate.  Keep these thoughts to yourself and ponder them in more detail at a later stage when you are away from the team.  Stay focused on extracting the learning and insights from what is being said.

Questions 1 - 5: Focus on Value

Question 1: Why do you think our clients buy from us?

Question 2: What do we do that is really valuable and helpful to our clients?

Question 3: What type of clients do you enjoy serving the most? Why?

Question 4: What additional products / services could we provide that would be helpful to our clients?

Question 5: Do our clients see us as doing something different to our competitors? If so, what is it?

The responses you gain to these questions will feed into your planning from a number of angles. For instance, it will help you:

  • Clarify your value proposition and key marketing messages
  • Understand the motivation of your team and where they are putting in effort to deliver value
  • Profile your ideal clients and identify your market niche
  • Determine the extent to which the team's understanding of the value that is being delivered is aligned with your own
  • Identify growth and cross-selling opportunities

Good luck and start asking today!

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