No one is perfect, and no business is perfect. There are businesses and people that look perfect on the outside but the inside doesn’t reflect that, and of course there are those that look like a mess outside and are a mess inside as well. Sometimes people/businesses know they need help and are willing to ask for the help, but other times they’re seemingly clueless about anything possibly being wrong (which can be very frustrating to customers and potential customers). I certainly experience both in the course of my work, those that think they know everything and can’t possibly have any room for improvement, and those who admit they need help. There are people all along that spectrum as well, it’s not a black and white thing.
So let’s start at the beginning. As I said there are no perfect businesses. Every single business (and business owner) has at least one thing they could change or improve. Some of those things are subjective to some customers or potential customers (like changing a spice blend in a recipe or using a specific social site), while others are broader and really impact the whole business and customer base or potential customer base (like not having a website or having rude employees). When it’s something that affects only a portion of your customers/employees you have to decide if it’s really worth it to make that change or if there’s perhaps another way you could incorporate their feedback. For something that’s broad spectrum it’s something that usually is a whole lot less optional and really should be addressed if you want the best for your business and customers.
We’ve touched on a few of the things that tend to be wrong or frustrate customers (or employees), but here’s a more specific list: lack of detailed and specific information that is easily accessible, poor management/leadership, unexpected and unexplained wait time, poor packaging, poor product or service, lack of communication, poor pricing, inconsideration, unhelpful/uneducated employees/salespeople, and rudeness. Most of these have very clear connections to two things: people and communication. As much as we’re an instant society today that has high expectations for many things including businesses we buy from, there is also a willingness to wait for the good stuff or for what we really want as long as we’ve been told what the wait will be and have been dealt with in a polite and respectful manner.
Maybe you’re one of those businesses who has some more subjective things to check out, if so that’s great and they could be profitable opportunities for you. But if you’re facing a very broad issue it’s time to take action and make changes to repair the issue. The longer you let it hang the bigger the chance is that you’ll lose great customers and have more difficulty getting new ones.