Having a thriving business is frequently built on a simple strategy of solving your customers' problems.
If you can reduce the problems your customers are facing today or will face in the future, and they are willing to pay you to fix those problems, you have a winning business strategy. If the problem is important or particularly frustrating to your customers, the value of your solution increases, and you're more likely to remain a long-term solution provider.
Recently, a FireMate customer in Australia described their business strategy as taking away the pain of their customers (see the Select Essential Customer Success Story). The key to this successful strategy was not to make assumptions about what customers need but rather to ask a simple question.
Where can I take your pain away?
This simple, open question yielded a series of problems to be solved. Whether you consider it market research, a good sales technique, relationship building 101, or just a logical thing to do, asking a question like the one above helps you design your services to meet real needs and problems.
Successful businesses solve problems that their competitors are unable to solve easily. Or, maybe they solve problems more cost-effectively than their competitors, or maybe their solution is more effective or more timely.
A simple approach to problem-solving
Problem-solving is a process that involves these important steps.
- Decide to be a problem solver, a listener, and a solution provider.
- Ask open questions to identify your customer's problem(s).
- Ask the customer to prioritise their problems. How important is each problem? Maybe use a scale from 1-5, or even better, determine how much each problem is costing each month (money, time, convenience).
- Develop solutions that your customer is willing to pay for.
- Gain agreement and get it done.
Are you ready to start? Decide today to ask a customer what issues they're facing and see the response you get.