You’re not perfect. No business is. Every business has weaknesses they need to improve on. And that’s okay. As long as you have some good strengths, you can run a successful business. But if you really want to stand out in your industry and crush the competition, you have to focus on identifying your weaknesses and turning them into strengths.
The problem is that most people are too close to their business to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses.
Today, I’m going to share one simple strategy for figuring out your business’ weaknesses. Once you know these, you can focus on building them up and gaining more market share.
Pay attention to all customer feedback
Whether it’s an online review, a Tweet, a blog post, a phone call, or an in-person conversation, customer feedback is important to helping you grow your business. The problem is that too many companies only focus on the good feedback. They get their testimonials, post them for everyone to see, and that’s it.
Me, I value the negative feedback. Any time someone says something negative about your business, no matter where it is, make note of it. Try to boil the complaint down to its most basic source so you can see just what it is about your business that they don’t like.
Over time, you’ll likely start to see some trends develop. You’ll find multiple customers making negative comments about the same thing. Once that happens, you know you have a weakness. Correct it by any means necessary.
One other note—Look for negative remarks in what seem to be positive reviews. For example, sometimes a customer will say some really nice things about your business, but they may have a complaint hidden in there without you noticing.
Here’s an example: “My experience with ABC Company was great. Their customer service reps were super friendly, and the product was so cheap that I didn’t even mind it taking 2 weeks to get delivered.”
Overall, it seems like really positive feedback, right? But what about that little remark in the end about the product taking 2 weeks to get delivered? That’s a very subtle complaint, but it’s one that you need to pay attention to. Perhaps ABC Company has slow delivery times. Not all customers will be as understanding.
Getting customer feedback
Of course, before you can analyze customer feedback, you need to get some. Earlier this year, I wrote a post outlining 7 tips for getting customer feedback. The main methods are to:
1. Give online buyers the option of completing a survey
2. Include comment cards with all orders
3. Offer discounts or freebies to lost customers in exchange for feedback
4. Send a follow-up email to buyers
5. Offer your products for free to reviewers
6. Talk to your customer service reps
7. Include product rating system on your website
If you want to read more on each point, you can view the original post by clicking here.
Do you know what your business’ weaknesses are? What have you done to correct them?