Over the past years my meetings with leaders always included discussion regarding their customers. There has been a large variation in the degree to which they understand the customer and the degree to which customers understand the leader’s company. Not surprisingly, there seems to be a relationship between business success and the degree to which there is mutual understanding with the customers.
There are three areas to consider:
#1 Who are your target customers, today and in the future?
- Have you written down who your target customers? What are the specific customer segments you are targeting? What comprises the customers’ ecosystem? Do you understand the relationship between users and people giving you money? e.g. Why do advertisers pay Google? Because of the large number of users? Because the users perceive Google as being the best search engine and best user experience?
- What are the problems and opportunities they face? What is driving their problems and opportunities? What is the market size? Who are the competitors? What is your market share?
#2 How do your target customers perceive their current relationship with you?
- Are your target customers aware of your company – or your competitors?
- How engaged are your target customers? g. Are they reading your emails; going to your website; or meeting with you or going to your bricks and mortar stores.
- How engaged are your target customers with the competition?
- Are your target customers buying from you – or from your competitors? What products and services are they buying? How much of their needs are being met?
- What is the market size and potential for growth?
#3 Why do your target customers buy from you rather than from your competitors? Why are your target customers buying from competitors rather than you? Do not make assumptions or guesses. What are the “words from their lips”? What are the facts regarding their actions and behaviours?
- Are your target customers aware that they have a problem or opportunity that you can help them with? Or do you have to educate and persuade the customers that they have a problem and what the value would be to solve the problem?
- Do the customers perceive their needs as so urgent they are proactively seeking a solution? Or do you have to find the customers and persuade them to take action.
- How do your target customers perceive interacting with your company versus the competition?
- How is the customer experience better and different with your company rather than the competition?
- What are your customers saying about your company? On social media? Who are the customers recommending? What is the strength of your brand and reputation versus the competition?
To enable discussion with your board and management, download the following one page slide: