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Let Your Customers Build Your Business

I read somewhere that Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks and Quicken, have a practice they call “follow me homes” that allow them to go into an actual customer’s home and watch them install their software and get it set-up. They find that often, the way they designed a screen or instruction may not be the way a user actually interacts with it.

It’s pretty easy to see how this kind of user testing could be applied to software, but what about your situation?

This kind of testing could be applied to many aspects of a small business but I’m going to coin the term “Build a Biz” for this approach.

    Here are some examples of how you might use this:

  • Getting a new logo? Let your best customers have a say
  • Writing a new brochure? Same thing
  • Web site? Watch over your customer’s shoulder as they surf around
  • Product/Service design? Before you role something new out get your client’s feedback
  • Customer service processes? Let your customer help design them

This could make for a very cool annual or semi-annual community building event. Bring a group of your most passionate customers together for an entire day of “build a biz” and have them rotate from workstation to workstation completing a series of tasks. You could build in networking, learning, and socializing throughout.

Every participant will go away feeling great about being a part of the game, you will have learned a tremendous amount about your business, and, if your best clients just happen to be business owners too, you just might want to take your new game of “build a biz” to them and show them how to get better too. Nothing adds value to your business relationships like this kind of community and value building tool.

How would you bring your clients into this game?

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