The customer is always right because they are the one paying you! Like money. Cash.
Or they lead to the money. (More on this later.)
Basically without your customer, you wouldn’t have a business.
We lose sight of that.
Choosing the Wrong Person(s) as Your Customer
What usually happens is… the person(s) we think of as our customer… is wrong.
So, who do we “think” is the customer when they really aren’t? Let’s go over the most likely ones.
- Our social media
- Our friends and family
You Are NOT Your Customer
A lot of times we create a product because it is what we would have wanted. Or what we “think” our customer wants. Usually, we don’t ask them.
“My idea is great! People are gonna love it! It’s perfect!”
We get attached to our ideas. They become our babies. We can perfectly see how it would solve so many problems.
But we forget to ask our customer if that is what they really want. Is it really solving a problem that THEY need solved?
As a website designer, I have had quite a few clients that don’t want certain things on their website or don’t want the button in a certain place. They don’t like the look of it.
But their customer expects it there. If that is what their customer wants/expects, it needs to go there.
Social Media Is NOT Your Customer
How many times have you been more concerned about getting “likes” than helping your actual customer that is paying you money?
I know I’ve done it.
It is so easy for anyone to click “like” or join an online group. And just as easy for them to unlike or ignore the group.
But until they are giving you cash, they are not your customer. They may be your potential customer. But not yet. You need to listen to the people that are actually giving you their credit card number.
Friends and Family Are NOT Your Customers
This one is really hard because these are the people in our real, everyday lives. They matter more to us than anyone. We unconsciously give them more say in our lives.
Sometimes, they have no clue about your industry, but they want to give advice anyway. They want to be helpful.
Other times, they may know about your industry, but they want to make you happy. They want to say the thing that is going to make you smile. Not the thing that is really going to push your business forward.
Now, I’m not saying completely ignore the yourself, social media or friends and family. I’m just saying to make sure to take the advice and such with a grain of salt and remember who your customer really is.
Listen to Your ACTUAL Customer
The best plan for any business is to start with an idea. Be ready to adjust. Then ask your customer what they want.
Sometimes you don’t even need the idea to start if you know who you really want to work with. You can just go to them and ask. (More on this next week when we go over why The Customer Is NOT Always Right.)
And, it can be a little confusing as to whom your actual customer is.
I was at a conference put on by Amy Porterfield last month. (Yep, totally name dropping. Got to meet her in person. Even got a picture.)
Anyway, Rick Mulready was there. He is a Facebook Ads expert. He brought up a very good point and something to think about.
Many people think that the people buying ads are the customer for Facebook. But they aren’t. Even though, technically, they are the ones spending money.
Facebook’s customer is the viewer/user. Because without that viewer/user there would be no one to advertise to. And THAT is why Facebook is always working to make the viewer/user happy. NOT the people who have pages or spend the advertising $$$.
Let’s Tie It All Together
Here is an example of choosing the wrong person as your customer.
There is a startup currently trying to make it big: Loving Life! (Names and subject matter have been changed to protect my sanity and future.)
Loving Life! Is a platform where recipe creators go to post their recipes. Users come and pay a monthly fee to have access to ALL the recipes on the platform. Basically a giant cookbook to find whatever you want to make, whenever you want to make it.
This platform was created because a certain chef, Jeff, could never get people to look at this recipes and try them out. He wanted to pay chefs money based on how many times people made the recipes.
Only the BIG chefs were getting their recipes out there through BIG companies, like Betty Crocker. Betty Crocker wouldn’t even look at the little guy, let alone pay for any recipes from them.
The problem is Jeff is so concerned about the other chefs putting up whatever kind of recipes they want and pay them that he forgot to ask the customer what kind of recipes they wanted. How many recipes need to be available to justify spending that much money each month?
He wasn’t listening when the customer said they wanted at least some big recipes by big names. Not ALL big names but at least a few.
Jeff was only concerned about the chefs adding their recipes because that was who he used to be. The chef wanting a place to get his recipes out there.
So, the chefs are happy, but the customer is not buying because they aren’t getting what they want. Even though they are asking for it.
Jeff is putting the wrong people as the customer. 🙁
In YOUR business, you need to figure out who your customer is and listen to them. It may not be super obvious. But just see who is paying, is going to be paying or leads to the money (like in the Facebook ads example).
Now, you may be freaking out about thinking I am telling you to be nice to anyone who is willing to give you money in your business. Nope, I’m not.
Next week we are going to go over why The Customer Is NOT Always Right. Hint – You don’t have to have them as a customer.
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