When it comes to business, change is good. There’s always a need for a constant, but as with most things in life, change brings with it freshness. A new approach that can make things more modern, appealing and interesting.
More often than not, you won’t have to decide when you need to make change or what change you should actually make, as your customers will usually tell you and therefore as long as you’re listening to the comments your customers are feeding back, you shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to finding out how you should develop your small business for the best.
But how do you actually react to what your customers are telling you? Sure, you can easily hear what they’re saying, but how do you act on their comments?
Firstly, you need to analyse them.
Just because one or two customers have told you you should change the way you accept payments online, for instance, does this mean you should definitely go ahead and do it? Simply put, there isn’t a straight yes or no answer here as you need to analyse each and every piece of feedback before you react.
If only one or two customers are telling you something, chances are it’s personal preference – but it could just as easily be something that only they have noticed and once you’ve listened and reacted positively, it could result in you putting stop to a potentially huge problem.
Similarly, if you’re getting regular comments from numerous customers around the same topic, chances are you will have to make some change, but it might not always be the case and it could simply be a matter of having to better inform your customers, rather than making any major amendments to your processes.
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You also need to understand that AB / split testing is your friend.
Yes, change is great and yes, everyone should be looking to develop their small business regularly, but change can have a negative impact if not handled correctly. As mentioned above, just because some of your customers ask for it, it doesn’t mean it’s best for your business overall and it’s why AB / split testing is always recommended.
Let’s say you were planning on changing a product page. With AB / split testing, what you would do is have your current page and your revised page live and then send 50% of your traffic to the current page and 50% of traffic to the revised page.
After a few days, you would then look at the statistics of both pages and work out, for example, which page kept customers on the page for longer and which page saw a better click-through rate in terms of purchasing the product, giving you the ability to make the most informed choice as to which page to run with fully.
What’s more, even if you do make change, you need to be happy to revert back.
Holding your hands up and admitting you’re wrong is difficult for anyone, but in business it can often be seen as a sign of weakness.
This is purely and simply wrong, as the most successful organisations are the ones who not only listen to their customers and react to what they seemingly want initially, but who are happy to react to what they say after changes are made – even if it means reverting back to the original way of working.
Remember, customers are simply human beings at the end of the day and we all make mistakes. It can seem like the grass is always greener and that there are always better ways of doing things, but no matter how much you listen, analyse and test, implementing any type of change could always be the wrong move, which is why it’s important you are happy to admit it wasn’t the right thing to do and you’ll soon change back.
Every small business should always be willing to make change to help them develop and nine times out of 10, all you will have to do to find out what change you should make is listen to your customers. However, just because you know what change you should supposedly make, it’s not easy to react to the change and there’s a substantial amount to consider, with these three points providing a good overview of the basic process.