What do your customers like about you?

Do you know what your customers like about you? Do you know what it is they they think you do for them? What it is that makes them decide that you are the one?

It is alarmingly common that the reason you think they like you never occurred to them. They have a whole other thing that they value. If you can understand what this is then you are well on the way to keeping them around and to getting more clients who think like them.

We’ve been talking to a Russian restaurant recently. A bit off our usual beat but it is a creative business facing many of the same issues you do. They do great business with the Russian community. They are very proud that they have a French chef as well as a Russian chef in the kitchen. They keep telling us that. So why aren’t the mainstream, non-Russian customers coming, they want to know? Well perhaps people who want French cuisine are not going to go to a Russian restaurant for it. Perhaps what they might really like is the enormous piles of wonderful organic char-grilled meats and fish. Perhaps what they would like is the unique cultural experience of authentic sword-dancers. Perhaps it’s just the excuse to drink lots of vodka and eat caviar that will pull them in.

We won’t be guessing when we tell them what the secret is. We will do some research – we’ll bring people to the restaurant and find out what they like about it. We’ll talk to people who go to other similar restaurants and find out what it would take to try a different one. We’ll do it just like the package goods guys do it. We don’t have to guess. It doesn’t cost a lot to find out what people really think. But maybe it would cost a lot to go on trying to lure people to a Russian restaurant with a French chef, however good he is.

So how does all this translate to your business? Well when you know what people really like about you it will make it a whole lot easier to market your company and get new clients. So why guess? A few real answers could lead to a whole bunch of new business. Shouldn’t you start asking the questions?