Thursday, June 2, 2011



It is always fascinating to me to observe how little real communication seems to go on between customers and the business that serves those customers. It seems reasonable to assume that if we market and customers show up at our door, we must be doing something right. If we weren't, they wouldn't be coming. The fact that they come tells us that they love our products and services just as they come. Is that really so?

The most poignant example of customer feedback was shared in a seminar I attended a while back. Apparently, a cat litter company had asked its customers what they liked and didn't like. One of the answers was "frankly, we think the litter smells horrible". The company added some scent to the litter and their sales increased 400% in the next year. Not a bad return on a few simple questions!

There are many examples like that and they all result from the simple willingness of companies and entrepreneurs to get on the same wavelength as their customers. Sometimes, the company's assumptions based on market data are accurate. Sometimes, they are not. The difference lies in the fact that much market research is impersonal and generalized. In the end, the human beings make emotional buying choices based on individual self-interest. Ask - and be amazed!