When it comes to looking for ways to improve your small business, there’s no better place to start than your own customers. After all, they are the ones who un-package the end product and use it for months. They’ll be able to give you the best feedback as to how this product has fit into and improved their lives. Here are some questions small business owners should be asking their customers.
- How has the product or service improved your life?
The goal of every small business owner is to offer a product or service that somehow makes the customers’ lives easier or better. Has that goal been achieved? If it hasn’t been, why not? What can be done to make the product more helpful and beneficial to customers? Is the product doing what it promises?
- What can make the product easier to use?
Sometimes, products are very useful to customers, but they are just a little difficult to maneuver. For example, let’s say you sell high-quality liquid thermoses that keep drinks warm for hours, and they definitely do their job. However, the lip of the thermos feels uncomfortable when people drink from it. These are things that may not stop customers from using the product, but it’s a small design flaw that makes the product less than perfect.
- How was the shipment process?
While the product was in shipment, did the customer get a tracking number? Did the shipment box arrive wet and banged up, or was it in pretty good shape? Perhaps the boxes you’re using are too big, and the product is getting shifted around too much. Consider using bubble wrap or peanuts if that’s the feedback you get.
- Was the ordering process smooth?
Many small businesses offer multiple ways for customers to make purchases. Some customers may order over the phone, and some may prefer using the website. Whatever the method your customers used, how was it? Was it smooth? Any glitches on the website? Good customer service over the phone? These are questions you should be asking your customer in order to find out their perspective on the business.
Something that is recommended for small business owners to do every now and then is to order a product yourself and have it delivered to you using a different name. This allows you to experience the process for yourself, as a customer. You’ll be able to see firsthand the condition of the product, the shipment process – the whole nine yards.
For more information about small business ownership, visit www.biz2credit.com for advice on financing, including working capital, lines of credit, and SBA loans.