If you don’t have a product or service which delivers value to your customers and prospects, it makes building a profitable business almost impossible. Having an inferior product isn’t something you want to risk your business or reputation. In this day and age, competition is very tough, consumers are fickle and markets are constantly changing, so it’s important to make sure you are delivering what your customers want.
Having the best product or service isn’t enough in itself if you don’t have everything else right. However, it is an essential component. When looking at your products, consider what are you offering and how does it benefit your customers? What need is it fulfilling? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the product or service? This is where you really need to listen to your customers. It’s easy to acknowledge compliments – they make you feel good. It takes a lot of strength to be open to negative feedback. However unreasonable it may seem, there is always at least a grain of truth in in it. Be gracious in receiving negative feedback because you can really turn around a negative situation and create a raving fan out of a disenchanted customer if you handle it right.
Customers can fulfil a need in a number of ways. For example, if your business sells washing machine repairs, then your customer has the option of either repairing their washing machine, getting someone else to do their laundry, buying a new washing machine or resort to hand-washing. So it’s important that you get your product right so that you become the obvious choice.
If you want your product to be a best-seller, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What need is your product (or service) designed to fulfil?
- What are the strengths of your product (or service)?
- What are the weaknesses? If your customers were being really picky, what would they be saying?
- What are you doing to address those weaknesses?
- Who are your top 5 competitors?
- What do they offer that you don’t and how can you address this?
- What is another way your prospects might fulfil the need?
- How can you make your product a better option?
- What feedback about your product (or service) have you been ignoring and what are you going to do to address it?
- What processes do you have in place to make sure your product (or service) is the best?
Steve Jobs, one of the greatest innovators of our time, talked about surprising and delighting the customer by looking at how to excel, not just meet the competition. He thought in terms of simplicity, elegance and sexiness (of the product, of course!). By contrast, I know of a man whose business failed because he insisted on providing his service using old, outdated technology and old, outdated principles. You have to constantly re-invent and improve if you want to thrive.
© Tricia Woolfrey 2013
About Tricia Woolfrey – click HERE to find out about the author.