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Custom Fit: Developing Client-Centric Business Services

Enthusiasm is crucial for launching a business, but just because you’re convinced your idea is amazing doesn’t mean others will feel the same way.


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Do you actively seek input from the people you serve to ensure that you’re offering something relevant to them? Or do you merely come up with an idea and throw it out there to see if there are any takers?


If you’re an entrepreneur, the most important truth you can ever grasp is that your success ultimately depends on offering goods or services that meet the needs of a specific group within the marketplace. If you approach things with a “one size fits all” mentality, there’s little chance of appeasing everybody. There are too many variables, and you can’t be an expert at everything. It can be tempting to believe that success can be achieved by taking care of everyone, but trying to do so will likely do little more than quickly show the areas where your business services fall short.


The role of adequately ascertaining the needs of clients or customers needs to come into play not merely once but multiple times throughout the course of doing business. Some first-time entrepreneurs can launch from a precarious platform, believing they have a fantastic business idea. Enthusiasm is crucial for launching a business, but just because you’re convinced your idea is amazing doesn’t mean others will feel the same way. Long before you invest the time, energy, and mental effort into undertaking the complexities of creating a business, you must meticulously research the market you’re planning on serving to see whether or not you even have anything of value to offer.


It’s quite possible to have a valuable concept for business services only to discover that you’re not connected with the appropriate group of people who will truly appreciate and benefit from them. There’s generally no good workaround for this scenario; it’s fruitless and counterproductive to try to shoehorn an idea where it just doesn’t fit. The more pragmatic approach involves either finding a good fit for what you’ve already developed or, better yet, explicitly tailoring what you can offer to benefit those in the marketplace you’re most logically going to be a part of. Both of these approaches are predicated on the core concept of finding a need and then filling the need in a way that differentiates you from your competition.


Developing client-centric business services is an exercise that plays out at three critical junctures: launching your business, creating new service options, and building loyalty. It’s not enough to find a market niche and offer something. As your business grows and develops, you need to be intentional about adapting and modifying what you do to better serve your clients or customers. You may be relevant initially and even attract a growing client base, but if your competition starts finding ways to innovate and provide more than you currently are, the people you serve could quickly jump ship. Weaving the concept of market research into the fabric of your business operations is the only way to ensure that you’re seeking the input of those on the receiving end of what you do.


And yet, many small businesses downplay this significance and lose out on the opportunity to acquire, grow, and maintain clients. SCORE, a non-profit geared toward assisting small businesses, conducted a survey in which it was determined that only around 40% of these enterprises regularly researched their market to determine if they were still making valuable inroads. The entire concept of market research can sometimes be off-putting to the fledgling entrepreneur. Perhaps the term conjures up mental images of expensive and complex studies, and those with limited time and resources are scared away from even investigating the concept. However, doing so can prove to be fatal to an enterprise’s longevity, as a recent U.S. Small Business Administration study confirmed.


The good news for business owners is that market research need not be expensive or complex, and there’s no single standard for how to go about carrying it out. The most important aspect is to appreciate that determining how to best serve people can be accomplished by asking three primary questions. First, what do clients and customers need? It might seem basic, but getting clear answers here will lay crucial groundwork for everything you develop. Obtaining this information requires no tool other than conversation. Posting a survey on a social media community page can help to get your question in front of people you might not usually have an organic dialog with. This could play a pivotal role if you’re just now contemplating starting your own business and want to get a feel for what people are looking for.


If you have an existing venture and aim to maintain and scale your current customer base, gathering specific feedback as a follow-up to providing services will give you some essential data to work with. Knowing what your clients or customers need is important, but it’s just the beginning. You next need to ask what they want, being sure to couch this question in the context of allowing yourself some elbow room. Providing something unique to those you serve might be nice, but it may not be practical. You’ll never know if you don’t ask, but it’s important to not pressure yourself into making it happen. You may, however, discover that what the client is looking for is within your grasp, a scenario that can contribute significantly to your long-term business goals.'


The other important question involves “pain points” – those factors that cause the most angst and frustration. Discerning what falls into this classification will require a more nuanced approach because you’ll need to look well beyond the needs and wants of the client. This investigation sometimes encompasses the complexities of understanding how your offer gets implemented on the receiving end. You may have a fantastic solution that people have actively been seeking, but will some questions and concerns arise after using it for a while? Maybe you have one primary product or service that constitutes the bulk of your business, but you can’t merely presume that it will work perfectly for everyone who purchases it.


By gathering detailed feedback, you also posture yourself in a way that enables you to provide even more to those you serve. The “value-added” concept doesn’t mean throwing in some mindless gift and hoping it impresses your client. The deeper meaning involves packaging your service offerings in a way that provides an enhanced user experience that’s unique to your business. This requires the same investigation and intentionality that goes into crafting a service offering in the first place – you need to ensure that whatever value add you provide actually makes sense. This must also be balanced with the practical question, “Can our business afford to offer this?” You can’t be all things to all people, so be what you can to those you serve most relevantly.


The ongoing necessity of market research is best defined in the context of building customer or client loyalty. When someone exchanges money with you for something you provide, feeling that they can have a voice about the quality of that experience can be the best catalyst for emphasizing your enterprise as the one they should be doing business with. And the question goes much deeper than simply asking, “How did we do?” Having two-way dialogue with clients or customers helps to convey a sense of flexibility and to show your willingness to adjust the course of your business to provide the best service possible. This approach will lay the foundation for building repeat business and fostering true loyalty and trust with those who seek your services.


The chance of correctly guessing how to resonate with your respective marketplace is incredibly slim. Embracing the discipline of market research, even when conducted on a rudimentary level, is a much more prudent and applicable approach. By doing so, you can ensure the importance and relevance of your business at whatever stage of your development you happen to be at. 

 

Explore how client-centric business strategies can revolutionize your approach to service delivery. Contact the team at ValorExcel to learn more about developing tailored solutions for your business. Visit https://www.valorexcel.com/book-online, to book your power hour session where you’ll meet with ValorExcel staff to assess your needs and develop a plan of action to reach your short and long term goals. Or, call 240-329-9387 or email us at info@valorexcel.com, Then, don't forget to check our recent videos on YouTube by clicking HERE. #ClientCentric #BusinessStrategies #TailoredSolutions #MarketResearch


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