In a recent article for Policy Options, Supriya Syal asks a great question: what if, when we’re developing or implementing public policy, we factor in an understanding of the minds of the people who make up that public?
The article talks about behavioural science, and how understanding human behaviour can help us make better decisions — decisions that don’t just affect us personally, but those around is.
In my job, I have to make business decisions that ultimately affect my customers. Knowing what my customers need helps me make the best decisions possible when it comes to customer service and how the business functions, but so is knowing how my customers expect my staff and I to behave toward them.
In all my years running a business, I’ve learned the following about my customers and what they expect when they come to me for help.
They want to know I care. Building a rapport with the customer is very important. Obviously when you’re dealing with high-value product that your customer is entrusting to you, you need to build trust through knowledge. We ensure that our staff members are all informed daily through a morning meeting about new events, training and trends. We create an internal newsletter that is written by staff about seed quality trends and the like. This helps us help our clients with the latest issues that pop up.
They expect professionalism. Apart from the obvious courtesy of being polite, we have a code of conduct and we’re known for taking time to answer the tough questions — and admit when we don’t always know the exact answer.
The wrong behaviour can hurt a client and their livelihood, and as a result, it can hurt my business. If a client leaves you for another seed testing firm, it takes a long time to gain that respect back — if you ever do.
Over time, I’ve learned the importance of developing a specific company culture that ensures we always listen intently to our clients’ needs and wants. In my next column, I’ll discuss some ways I’ve learned to do this.
In the mean time, ask yourself this: what do your customers expect of you? Make a list and determine what you’re doing right and where you might need to improve.