What Customers Really Want

Focus on the Experience

To compete in today’s marketplace, it’s not always enough to focus on what you’re selling; you may need to consider how you’re selling. Delivering a quality experience sets you apart from the competition. 

Whether you offer a B2B product or service, work as a professional consultant to companies or individuals, or have a consumer retail operation, providing engaging experiences drives repeat business.

You can start creating memorable experiences for your customers by taking a close look at your sales process. Identify every point where potential customers, current customers, and repeat customers interact with your business. Make a list of these “touchpoints” and note what you’re doing now and whether it’s working or not. Then, brainstorm ways to make those interactions more meaningful from your customers’ point of view.

Here’s an example: nearly every business uses various types of communication to share information with customers, ranging from appointment reminders and thank-you notes to newsletters and user instructions. But while all businesses communicate, some have made a name for themselves by elevating the quality of their communications. 

Depending on the nature of your business, you can give your customers a better communications experience with your company in various ways, such as: 

  • Injecting humor
  • Creating an aesthetically appealing message, whether in print or digital
  • Sharing tips and resources 
  • Offering multiple options relating to type and frequency of communications and marketing messages they receive from you

While these suggestions require extra effort, they’re not really expensive and they can pay off. Done well, customer experiences inspire appreciation for your business, reflect on the quality of your business, and prompt repeat business and customer referrals.

Learn more about the value of happy customers.

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.

Tackling Work-Life Imbalance

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have the freedom to control your work schedule, but that doesn’t make it easier to achieve work-life balance. In fact, a study conducted by Melissa Milkie and her colleagues at the University of Toronto found that people who set their own working hours and work over 50 hours a week tend to have more, not fewer, work-life conflicts.

If it seems the work will never end, making changes in how you work can reduce your workload, free up time for your nonwork life, and prevent burnout. Here are three ways to better manage your work hours.

  • Delegate

If you’re just starting out, you may not be in a position yet to delegate a lot of what you’re doing to get your business off the ground. But experts say that three years in, you shouldn’t still be putting in 70 hours a week. Hiring right, and training well, will keep you from doing the job of two people.

  • Be Productive

There are so many distractions to draw us away from the task at hand, and I don’t mean the obvious ones like social media. You can get sidetracked from pursuing your most important goals by day-to-day emails and calls. If you’re not achieving what you set out to do each week, take a close look at how you are spending your time at work and consider trying a different time management system.

  • Segment Smarter

Achieving work-life balance doesn’t mean sticking to traditional working hours of Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and not working the rest of the week. You might find mixing work and nonwork segments throughout your week is more effective for your schedule and workflow. For example, managing email in the evening when there are fewer distractions might help you get through your inbox faster, and work more efficiently the following day, opening up time for a nonwork activity. 

For some people, stress and stress-related health issues are signs that their work-life balance is off. Focusing on how you spend your nonworking hours can help you get the most benefit from the time away work. In a previous blogpost, I recommended three ways to make changes in your personal life that help can help improve your health and mindset.