Marketing

The Finished Product: Understanding What Customers Want

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Business is a field, which evolves continuously. If you’ve been through the process of turning an idea into a fully-functional business model, you probably have a very different interpretation of what running a business involves compared to those early days. Learning on the job is incredibly valuable, and often, it can take time to ensure you come up with a finished product or a useful or innovative service that you’re proud to sell or offer to your clients. If you own a company, your biggest achievement is likely to be providing a service that every customer rates highly. In order to achieve this, there’s a lot of hoops to jump through and lessons to take on board. Here are some tips to help you provide the best possible service and create a finished article to rival the best of the best.

Finding your place in the market

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Every entrepreneur should go into business with the knowledge that there is a demand for the product they have developed. You can never assume that people are going to buy something without finding out if there’s a market and who you should be targeting. If you’ve got a prototype, show it to buyers or stop people in the street and ask them what they think about it. Get some feedback from focus groups and see what’s already out there. Generally speaking, you’re going to do better if you can produce something that provides a solution for common problems or you can develop a better version of a product people already buy.

Manufacturing and materials

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If you’re developing and selling a product of any kind, it’s important to pay close attention to every stage of the process. You may have all the ideas, but how are you going to ensure that this brilliant concept lives up to the hype when it’s a tangible product sitting on a shelf? Whether you’re running a construction business, and you’re building new houses, or you’ve come up with a new dog toy that’s going to blow everything else on the market out of the water, it’s essential to be aware of what’s involved in getting the business up and running and producing a sustainable model. If you are in construction, for example, consider ways you can offer the best service for your clients without compromising on quality or overspending. Look for ways you can compete with other firms and check out the latest innovations to tap into emerging trends. It may be an idea to learn about stud rails if you’re planning to put buildings up in a shorter time period and reduce turnaround times and to investigate features that house buyers want now. By offering a customized service, for example, providing an option of solar panels on the roof, you can cater for a wider audience and set yourself apart from competitors. Once you’ve decided on materials and features and you know exactly what you’re selling, you can work on negotiating with suppliers and distributors to get the best prices. The lower the fees you pay for materials, the larger the profit margin when it comes to selling those products.

Prioritizing customer service

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It doesn’t matter how incredible your product is. If you don’t offer the standards of service to match, you’re likely to lose out on business. A fantastic restaurant can soon become average if the staff members are rude or unhelpful. Consider how many times you’ve read reviews that praise the food but criticize the service. The same can be said of virtually any business. As a customer, you want to feel valued,  as well as enjoying peace of mind that you’re going to get what you’ve paid for. When you’re running a company, don’t just focus on the quality and look of the product. Pay attention to the service you provide. Whether you’re liaising with potential buyers to give them a bespoke home, you’re cleaning windows or you’re delivering a product to someone’s door, it’s hugely beneficial to be professional, reliable, and punctual.

Even if you think you provide first-class standards of customer service, it’s worth asking your clients for feedback. You can do this by emailing surveys, sending out polls in the post or asking them to rate a service like live chat help on your website. You may not have an accurate idea until you actually ask people about the services you offer. If people do have negative comments, this can flag up issues, which you can then address.

Pricing

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Pricing can be a tricky issue for business owners. You want to offer a high-quality product that is also affordable. To get your pricing strategy right, it’s incredibly important to understand your market. If you’ve got a luxury item that is aimed at young professionals or the older demographic, consumers will expect a premium price tag. If you’re selling clothes to students and young people, they’re not going to pay hundreds of dollars for a single item. You need to make a profit, but you also need to make sure that you’re aiming your marketing campaign in the right direction. Do your research and find out how much people would be willing to pay for the items you plan to sell. You don’t want people to love the product but lose interest when the price is revealed. It’s also a good idea to learn more about the process of buying, and what goes on in the mind when you’re out shopping or you are browsing online. If you understand what makes people tick and what appeals to them, you’re more likely to generate orders. Consider treating people who subscribe to your mailing list to a discount or access to a secret sale, for example.

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If you have a product, no matter how big or small, you need to understand what customers want in order to give them a finished article they’ll recommend to their friends. It can take a long time to come up with something you believe is perfect, but if you have an insight into what your clients are looking for, you should find the process much simpler.

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