What did you think about the newest, latest, greatest Facebook updates? To me, they made changes for change sake. At least this time, they gave me the option of keeping the old version instead of converting. Many people may have missed that and just accepted the new look whether they liked it or not. As a business, you must be aware that silence is NOT acceptance.
Forced changes upon your customers (like software updates they didn’t request) may eventually be accepted as the “new norm,” but that doesn’t mean they are happy about it. Unhappy customers will go somewhere else, and they won’t tell you they are leaving. More than ever, VOC (voice of customer/consumer) is critical to receive and interpret before making any product or service changes. If you are relying solely on “likes” on Facebook or Twitter, you are increasing your chances of making a big mistake. Anymore, liking something on social media is just an acknowledge that you saw it. It also is a FOMO (fear of missing out) popularity club, meaning people will like it to feel like they fit in/are on the right side of something even though they don’t agree. Look at JC Penny – everyone on social media said they liked the new Penny’s, but they can’t make a profit. Last I read, they were closing down.
The technology and channels may have changed with the internet, but human design and behavior has not. People still want what they want, when they want it. As a business, you must take the time to listen to them and obtain real feedback with surveys. When was the last time you did a Phantom Shopper? This is where a consultant like me goes incognito to your place of business (in-person or online) and shops/buy, documenting the experience.
Businesses must sort through the noise and always remember to seek their core customer, not the masses. I’ve heard Mary Kay representatives say their target market is “anyone with skin,” and that is just not true. You can’t reach everyone, and with Mary Kay, income matters. Not everyone can afford it, and some may not like online shopping. Others will, and those are their customers.
A great example of knowing thy customer is an episode of Last Man Standing with Tim Allen. His partner hires his daughter who just graduated with a marketing degree, and she advises him to move the entire business online and close their stores. Tim Allen’s character does the research and concludes that their core customers are NOT online, and they are the ones who have the money. Ultimately, they create an online presence to attract younger shoppers to grow the business but not at the expense of their target market. They kept their customers happy and did not force them to do something they didn’t want to do.
Lots of people will tell you all sorts of things, but it is your core customer who matters. Pay attention to what they tell you, and look for what they aren’t saying because silence is not acceptance. Loyalty is getting harder and harder to obtain these days with online options, and you must do the work to know thy customer. I can help with over 25 years of marketing experience.
Want to understand the mind of your customer better? Get a copy of my Leveraging Your Communication Style book and double your sales by speaking their language!