Get out of the building.. and get to know your customers

In the current marketplace, with the constant bombardment of messages and information, the non-stop pace of life and the many purchasing options that consumers have via the internet, bricks & mortars stores, pop up stores, etc, you need to communicate more than just what a ‘great service you have’.

Newer schools of thought suggest that beyond the value your service delivers, you should discover what problem your service is solving. Being able to connect with customers by meeting their needs (versus just their wants) ensures a greater engagement level and a higher rate of cut through in purchasing decisions.

So why does this matter if you already have an established company? You still need to talk to your customers and find out what they really want – so get out of the building!

The key is to ask your customers questions and invite their feedback in a qualitative and quantitative way. Take the example of a group of bookkeepers and accounting specialist from one of our workshops. They set out to chat with and survey their customer base about the following:

  • Would they refer them on to other companies and individuals?

Have you heard of the ‘Net Promoter Score’? This simple questions tool, aims to find out the level of loyalty an individual or company has toward another, and because it is a universally recognise measurement tool, there are benchmarks available to help you to compare your business with others in the same industry.

  • With existing satisfied customers who appreciated the scope of accounts management that the bookkeepers and accountants provided, did the customers actually understand the reports they received, or did they need something simplified for their level of understanding?

To think in a way that simplifies your service delivery to develop something an individual customer truly engages with and understands, is a great way to build loyalty and demonstrate the value you create)

Even if you are delivering a great product or service that a customer enjoys and appreciates, never stop looking for ways to enhance what you do. In this competitive market with constant bombardment of marketing messages, the ‘extra service’ or ‘add-on’ that you provide, might be the key differentiator that helps you to stand out from your competitors.

  • Were customers happy with the amount of printed paperwork, forms or reports they received, or was there opportunity for more digital to be introduced into the customers’ work environment?

With the growing pursuit of more environmentally friendly workplaces, and the value in digital records for referencing and easier storage, going digital is more practical and sustainable for majority of companies. It also adds in a valuable layer of compliance and best practice for businesses who are on a journey to track and improve their processes.


Regardless of what type of product or service you deliver, if you’re actively engaging with customers and finding out their ‘pain points’ (the problems they have in everyday business life), you are then in a better position to respond with a solution through your service delivery and marketing / communication activities.

The key is not to just guess what they want…get out of the building and talk to your customers (you’d be surprised by how valued face-to-face communications can be these days).

Need a hand with knowing what to ask, and how to ask it? Contact The Marketing Box to chat about how our marketing services can help you, your business and your team.

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The concept of ‘getting out of the building’ stems from some exceptional concepts and methodologies presented by Steve Blank – Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and the genius behind the ‘Lean Start Up’ movement. Although Steve’s customer development work is often referenced to support new business, the underlying idea of getting to know your customer is invaluable especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as you’ll have the agility to connect with your customers much easier than larger companies (a competitive edge against the bigger players!)