Give us the scoop!
You know those relationships that end with "It's not you, it's me".
Well, what if it is you?
Seems a likely choice to look yourself square in the eye and head back to the drawing board for some changes. Or maybe you figure that whatever didn't work out just wasn't a good fit, and you accept it as it is.
Either way, to know is to understand.
So, we must have the scoop!
At work, our customers (or at home, our friends and family) are usually our best shot at giving us some sort of perspective. You can trust your customers' opinions to be mostly accurate based on actual experience, and you have the chance to engage in conversations via the convenience of reoccurred crossed paths.
So what about the opinions of strangers?
As business owners and entrepreneurs, it's likely that this percentage is a heck of a lot larger than that of our current customers. So there goes that theory we learned as kids telling us not to worry about the opinions of strangers...
If they don't use your products or services, do you know why?
If they broke up with you, did you ask why?
If they only visited your website for 30 seconds, do you know what they were looking for?
I think these are all valid questions we should be asking!
Were they gently saying "It's not you, its me!"
Or were you just not what they were looking for?
I don't think the focus of this should be to take the spotlight away from our loyal, long-time customers, and how much they should be appreciated and recognized. Hey, I get annoyed by phone and cable companies offering crazy-good discounts to NEW USERS ONLY just as much as the next person.
However, I do think that by taking a closer look at the unspoken advice (maybe even asking for it) from that percentage of folks that stand outside of our inner circle, we can learn how to take a better look at our inner workings - improving current AND prospective relationships.
Above is a sample survey we created with the help of Survey Monkey to see if we could get the scoop from some of our website visitors!
Other ideas on how to get the scoop:
1) Do some A/B marketing and test the results/responses. (You can try this with current customers and new customers alike - depending on your research purposes). Try to get to know them and see what it is they are looking for. What do they respond more to? Price-Based Coupons? Information-Based Newsletters? Emails? Postcards?
2) Have a designated Customer Service Team somewhere for current and prospective clients to EASILY make suggestions, chat or ask questions. Nothing stings worse than a bad google review from an internet warrior who waited too long on hold and decided they were going to go on permanent record and drag all of your employees down with them! Be the stop gap if by chance someone does want to give perspective.
3) Put yourself in their shoes. As a "marketer", I try to always take notes as a consumer. If you had a really good Customer Service experience returning that tiny bathing suit to CupShe, make a note of it! They might be doing something that your team hasn't thought of. All those EXPERIENCES that either push us away or draw us toward a product or service ALL. DAY. LONG is exactly what is happening to us when users experience our company... so take note, get the scoop, and give it your best shot :)