Probably, as an entrepreneur, you are the CEO of your company. You are the person who decides about strategies, decisions, and future directions of your company. But is it entirely true?
Although you are responsible for many things in your business, this responsibility doesn’t mean that you have the most considerable power. It doesn’t mean that your employees or your small business as a whole have the most significant power over the future of your company. All of you have only responsibilities to find the most influential persons and implement everything they want if you want your business to succeed.
Today, the most influential person for your business is your customer. Why? Simply because things in the last decade were changed in large part. With the help of technology and the availability of that technology, today’s customers have much higher power than yesterday’s. As an entrepreneur, you will need to be aware of that.
Customer insight expert Chuck Wall in his book “Customer CEO: How to Profit from The Power of Your Customer”, writes the following:
Suppose you want more profitable growth and a consistent pathway toward innovation so you can stay ahead of the competition tomorrow. In that case, you must gain a deeper understanding of your current and future customers today. Customers are in control because of an unstoppable force: the free flow of information. Technology means companies can no longer control what people know about anything. There are no secrets.
I highly recommend this book full of case studies and recommendations that will help you to prepare your small business for the high uncertainty future because of this significant shift of power.
The author based the work in his book on a three-step formula:
Customer Power + Active Engagement = Transformative Profit
The formula means that you will need to fully understand your customer’s needs if you want to profit. The author calls customer power first, then starts working on active engagement with them. The important part of this equation is the customer power which, according to Chuck Wall, can be the following powers:
- The power of me. What’s in it for me?
- The power of value. What’s this worth to me?
- The power of performance. Does this do the job I need it to do?
- The power of the heart. How do you make me feel?
- The power of simple. Why is this so complicated?
- The power of yes. Why is your answer always no?
- The power of the platform. What about my ideas?
- The power of rebellion. How do I break the rules?
- The power of purpose. Do we share the same values?
In its simplest form, this formula and guide to higher profitability when the power is not in your hands tells you that you need to listen to your customers and take actions according to insights that you will have because of listening.
This book will be helpful for all entrepreneurs, and also you as one of them. It’s worth spending the time to read and study and implement everything you will learn from the book.
Question: How you are listening to your customers, and what do you plan to change about this process?