What information should we share with our customers?

A lot of businesses are very secretive about how they work and how they deliver their product or service to the customer or client. I suppose they like to think they are protecting their expertise or intellectual property by not sharing the process. They must think that somehow the paying customer is going to steal their idea or their knowledge.

This mindset is bad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, sometimes what the customer says they want is not what they actually want, but they have not explained it very well. Secondly, customers, being people, change their minds about what they want and end up unhappy.

I believe that if we are open about what we do, there are many benefits, including:

  • People do get what they want and they understand what they are paying for.
  • They will be more willing to pay for more.
  • They will appreciate your expertise and be more likely to refer you to their friends.
  • They will not worry about delivery and the product during the time it takes for your business to do its work.

Because a customer understands your process doesn’t mean they are going to copy it and do the work for themselves. They probably wouldn’t have the skill. If what you are doing is that simple that they can do it, then it is likely to be of low value and you shouldn’t be doing it because it doesn’t make enough money. Concentrate on the higher value stuff and remember to sell on what it is worth to the customer, not on the cost of doing it to your business.

Having recently mentioned the fish and chip shop, I should now refer to one of our local Chinese takeaways. When you place an order in there, you can see the chefs cook the food. If you go on their slack day, which is Monday, they will immediately spring into action to cook whatever you have ordered. Seeing the food cooked gives you assurance that it is all freshly served, and indeed it provides entertainment far better than the obligatory TV screen. You know everything about the delivery of your product and feel engaged in the process.

I believe that is how we should all work. Our clients and customers are much happier if they know what we are doing for them, when we are doing it, and in certain businesses we should let them watch us in action. Do you appreciate an audience?

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