What happens if you don’t take some time considering your customers when planning for 2023? There will be a really big hole in your plan, because customers are the underpinning of your business. Success depends on being able to preemptively understand what your customer wants and needs, as well as how they are changing for next year.
To that end, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has my customer’s need changed, or has something changed for them?
- Am I still able to meet their need?
- Is my product as desirable as it was?
- Is it at the right price point for them?
- Has there been a change in the market?
- Am I dealing with more competitors?
Also consider if there may be a different customer that is right for you. You might already be selling to one part of a target client, but is that the best place to be? Should you be targeting other departments and customers instead or as well?
These are all customer-centric questions you should ask yourself as you’re preparing your 2023 plan. And when you’re done asking yourself, do something even more important: Ask your customer.
Continual feedback = actionable data
Having a continual dialogue with your customer and getting regular feedback means you are collecting data to answer these questions and more. You simply can’t know what someone else is thinking unless you ask them. There should be an ongoing process to gather customer feedback throughout the year, and now is the time to review and analyze that information to get the answers you need to smartly plan for 2023. Don’t panic: Even if connecting and talking to your customers regularly has fallen through the gaps, use whatever is at your disposal. Find a way to talk to your top three customers or have some feedback sessions. Anything that gets good insights and real data on what’s happening — and what’s going to happen— lets you craft a more accurate plan for 2023.
Customer lifetime value as a business barometer
A key thing to consider when thinking about customer metrics is customer lifetime value, which is the value of a customer over the time they’re with you, as well as acquisition costs (how much it costs to acquire them) and retention costs (how much you spend to keep them with you). Why are these especially important? They go beyond customer metrics to demonstrate the underlying strength of your business. If you are spending more to acquire a customer than you ever get as value from them in their lifetime, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be in a net profit position or that you’ll be able to make your cash flow last. Customer lifetime value not only directly affects your customer metrics, but it’s also a barometer for the health of your entire business.
If compiling customer metrics or figuring out how to incorporate them into your 2023 plan seems a bit daunting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.