WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN BUSINESS?
You are a business owner. You know the numbers and have a ready market waiting for your product. Your team works hard to create that product. Market strategy is fool-proof. The finance is available to give competitors a run for their money, and yet none of these is making an impact on your bottom-line.
What do you think is the most important thing for a business? Many business owners believe one or a combination of the things listed above hold the answers. In reality, the answer to this question lies within another question:
What do customers want?
Let me give you a practical example. Few months ago I decided to patronize a locally manufactured brand of oat meal. I did this for one reason: it’s a local brand, and I’m trying my hand at promoting local products. I concluded the product was not worth my money.
I’ll tell you what didn’t influence my verdict. Brand packaging did nothing because even with the shabby pack I bought it anyway. The cost was insignificantly below its major foreign competition. Information on the time and effort put into production was not available to me. Currently, there are a greater percentage of people increasingly concerned about health and fitness, so it was not a function of the market.
I ditched this brand, gave a bad review on social media and reported to the local Consumer Protection Council for one reason only: they lied. Not only was the product sporting content below its advertised net weight, it also offered far below the promised ‘premium quality’.
Business love reviews
Customer reviews speak a lot more about your brand than almost anything else. When you visit the website of a service company promising the best value for money, the one thing you seek is a page showing their testimonials. Amazon provides customers who buy from their website an avenue to leave product reviews. These reviews go a long way to determining the product ranking of brands using the platform. Consumers respond to reviews and the value proposition of your product has direct correlation with what you promise your customers.
Integrity is everything
When you see a bad customer product review, the major culprit reads like this:
Such a rubbish product; It does nothing like it promises to offer! DO NOT BUY!!!
Wow. Nothing pushes sales away from you like another customer with hands-on experience. If you want better reviews and your business to stay around for the long haul, then you have to promise and deliver on your words. The hallmark of any serious business lies in its integrity, and questioning that trust impacts on your reputation and could kill your brand. Put simply: Do not advertise what you are not; and do what you say you are going to do.
Wrapping it up
Everything of importance to you about your business—shareholders’ value, profit, social impact, cash flow or revenue growth, centers on one fundamental thing: customer experience. Happy customers tell other people about you and all your other business goals come one step closer to reality. Influencing your customers on the flip side is the value you promise and deliver to them, so stay true to yourself and stay true to them. Always remember that good market sells itself.