Mason James, our founder and CEO (and "the wearer of many hats") was recently a guest a on the Matt Report. The Matt Report is a podcast and community focusing on the business of WordPress.
You can jump to the video at the end of this post if you like.
In this interview, Mason discusses the importance of collecting and analyzing customer data to better serve your customers.
Utilizing customer data is also a critical element of building a sustainable business, and one that's positioned to meet not only your current customer needs, but to also offer solutions to the problems that your potential and future customers are facing.
Providing Value Before and After the Sale
This can come in many forms...blogging with a focus on helping others, speaking at events, or even free consultation calls.
By helping potential customers, and even your competition in ways that are sustainable, you start to build an audience and trust.
And by building trust, you position yourself as a brand that provides value. Not just a business who constantly makes the sales pitch.
Believing in the Value You're Providing
This is something that many freelancers and entrepreneurs struggle with. It's too easy to put too low a value on your knowledge and skills because you know these things so well.
After all, if I've mastered something, then it can't be that hard for others to accomplish on their own right?
What if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates had that same attitude? You know the answer and this is one of the areas where customer data can come into play.
By collecting and analyzing trends in your business niche, you can start to form a picture of the pain points that people experience.
Our service offerings came from a direct result of what our web development clients were requesting (or telling) us. After the site is alive and running, there were numerous areas in which our clients needed further assistance.
Asking for the Sale
This is something else that many of us have a hard time doing, especially when starting out. It's directly related to the belief in your value above and not something that should be ignored.
If you believe you can make someone's life or business better by whatever product or service you offer, then don't be afraid to ask for the sale.
What's the very worst thing can happen? They say no?
Getting a firm no from a potential customer is just as good as getting a resounding "yes please!"
Because if you truly believe in the value you can bring, and your potential customer doesn't believe the same, then it's likely that customer isn't a good fit for your business and it's sustainability.
Educating your Yourself, your Customer and your Team
This is where customer data becomes most important. And it must be ongoing.
I talked a bit above about educating yourself in determining what your customers need (and want), but it's also just as important to educate your customers and your team on what can be done to help them reach their business goals.
You don't know what you don't know.
That phrase is something we try and focus on in how we present our service offerings, in initial communications with potential customers, and in our ongoing marketing efforts.
Do our customers know about the things that can go wrong during a site migration? Maybe. But even if they do, we need to make sure we show them how valuable our site migration service is in terms of time saved and debugging.
The same holds true for our team members. Team communication is one of our core values here and it's why we have a dedicated chat client and custom database shared with our entire team.
This transparency allows all of us to be aware of what other team members are working on, struggling with, and the creative ways in which problems are solved.
Educating our team in this way fosters a tighter bond, supports accountability, and makes us all better at what we do.
In the end, it's our clients and our business who wins.
Mason Talks About This and More in the Video Below
Photo by The Library of Congress