Constant communication with your customers is absolutely essential to the success of your business. It is critical to maintaining the pulse of your operation. You have to know exactly what it is that your customers want and need from you; otherwise you will become stagnant and obsolete. “If we don’t change, we could become extinct.” I think this quote from Who Moved My Cheese, written by Dr. Spencer Johnson, is a great example of what happens when we do not talk to our customers…someone will move your “cheese.”
Although this book was published in 1998, it is still a favorite of mine and I’ve found that its message always rings true. The timeless premise is of how reacting to change can make all the difference in your work. If you show up for work one morning to find things altered, but expect the same old procedure to work, you will be sorely disappointed. You can’t wait for things to just go back to the way they were; you simply have to pick up and move on. One of the little people mentioned in the book is furious to find his cheese gone. He goes on and on wailing about “who moved [his] cheese,” but never actually tries to do anything about it. Waiting around will not fix the issue at hand.
“Let go of the past and pursue new cheese.” Wow, great advice from a book about mice and little people looking for some cheese, right? You have to give up on the old ways in order to make room for the new. If your old process just isn’t working anymore, it is time to wake up and move on. The worst thing you could do is nothing. You can’t be scared of trying new things; you can’t be afraid of failing. “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.”
So back to the voice of your customers and why the digression on cheese and little people; I think the best thing you can do in this situation is talk to the people who use your product! That’s right, your customers! They’re the ones you need to impress. When you stay in communication with them and are constantly monitoring what is going on, you set yourself up for success in the long run. Keeping the customers happy should be the most important aspect of your business model. With that, you are moving with the cheese; you are ready for any change that happens.
When you change what you believe, you change what you do”
If you don’t feel like reading the book even though you could probably knock it out in one afternoon, then at least check out this video for the cliff notes.