Monthly Mash and Knowing Your Customer's Why | Hand With Why Card

Monthly Mash and The Power of Why

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 16: February 2013

Thoughts on the Customer: Knowing Your Customer’s Why

Do you know why your customer is doing business with you? I ask the question in the singular because that is how our customers come to us, as individuals, people with their own motivations and desires.

Of course, in business we get so entrenched in demographic and psychographic data that it is easy to forget that individuals are behind each purchasing decision. Not every female, aged 25-45 who works out twice a week and reads Self magazine buys your product for the same reason.

In logic, it is called the ecological fallacy — extrapolating the characteristics of the group to the individual.

Monthly Mash and Knowing Your Customer's Why | Hand With Why CardWhy is why important? Let’s say you have an ice cream shop. Why do people do business with you?

“Well,” you say, “I sell ice cream. Everyone loves ice cream.”

Then when business is down, you blame the unseasonably cold weather or the fact that the sandwich shop down the street just installed an ice cream machine.

But if you knew the why behind your customers, you might find out that a large percentage of them are grandparents who like your classic ice cream shop feel. They don’t care about the ice cream; they feel comfortable in your environment.

Business is down because you haven’t trained the teenagers on your staff properly. They are not being respectful nor are they taking their jobs seriously, and your older patrons (and their grandchildren) are being turned away.

The first step in designing an incredible customer experience is knowing why your customers are there in the first place. In most businesses, we will never know the why of each individual customer, but in trying to learn, we can discover more about our customers and our businesses than we ever knew before.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience I read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

This month has been the most challenging yet to make a choice for this section, and that is a good thing! We had a number of posts that generated a strong reaction this month, and it was gratifying to see. In the end, I recommend Are You Renting Customers Space In Your Head, which deals with the subject of letting negative customers impact outlook and performance. This post seemed to touch a nerve, but atypically much of the action was on social media and not in the comment section. Check it out!


By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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