By Dale Isip

In business, you may present your company’s, or even your own, skills as being faster, more knowledgeable, or more effective than your competition. You may want to distinguish your services from the rest of those in your field, to have customers return in the future.

This skills-oriented approach, however, does not account for your clients. Learning to look at your business from a customer’s viewpoint, though, may be able to help you improve your services. Here are some ways to approach business from a client’s perspective.

Understand Demographics

To approach business from a client’s perspective, you might first want to understand the makeup of your client base. For example, in the United States in 2021, the median age of Web Developers was 38.5, while the median age of Agricultural Managers was 56. Both these demographics use technology, but they are likely to approach it differently – if you do business with any group, understand their characteristics.

Understanding trends in business ownership and personal income will also help you get a better sense of your potential clients. For instance, in 2018, women owned 19.9 percent (or 1.1 million) of businesses based in the United States, increasing from the previous year. Also, disposable personal income (DPI) can increase or decrease month-to-month among U.S. workers – amounting to, for example, a $19.8 billion increase from December 2021 to January 2022.

Demographic information can be found through government surveys and labor statistics organizations. You might also consider implementing client-oriented surveys for your own company.

Understand Your Clients

Of course, clients are more than just statistics – they are people with habits, feelings, and concerns of their own.

If you are an employee, approach your clients and customers with an open mindset. Listening can go a long way in this regard, and genuine concern will improve the chances of working with satisfied customers.

If you are a manager, you could establish a channel for your workers to express your client’s needs. A standardized questionnaire for your employees, filled out after every service or sales interaction, may be able to help you get an idea of what your clients’ prefer.

Practice Empathy

At the heart of approaching business from a client’s perspective is approaching your clients with empathy. If you are willing to listen to your clients carefully and put yourself in their shoes as a customer yourself, you will be able to better understand your business’ role in finding solutions.

A key to building empathy is to develop a relationship of trust – that is, being willing to be vulnerable through the belief in the good intentions of others. Client empathy may be a difficult path at first — but seeking it may help find a dynamic that works best for everyone.

Through a study of client demographics and client understanding through empathy, you can approach business through a client’s perspective. A company focused on these concerns is one geared for success, and your business will gain from a true understanding of its customers.