Great Business Ideas: Empowering your customers

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Empowering your customers

The importance of providing information to the client should not be underestimated. Information encourages customers to buy and to get the maximum out of the service being provided. Conversely, businesses should be eager to accept information from the consumer in the form of customer satisfaction and feedback surveys.

The idea

From 1989 to 1991, Ryder—the largest truck-leasing business in the world—suffered a steady decline in its business and slipped to second place in its core American market. To address this problem, Ryder recognized the need to use information more effectively to serve customers.

Its approach highlighted three key influences affecting current and potential customers:

  1. The need to help customers buy: for example, by producing a brochure explicitly explaining why they should buy Ryder’s insurance, as well as providing another brochure offering other supplies and accessories. Ryder recognized that customers would want to compare products with those of competitors, so it produced a truck comparison chart, highlighting its competitiveness and reassuring potential customers.
  2. The need to help customers use the service: Ryder provided a free guide to moving to every customer and potential customer, published in Spanish and English.
  3. The need to help customers to continuously adapt their usage: as well as ensuring that each outlet was well ordered, displaying a strong sense of corporate identity and commitment to customer service, Ryder ensured that there were additional products and services available at its outlets. These included information about the advantages of using Ryder’s towing equipment and details of longer-term discount rates.
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The benefit of these measures to customers was closely monitored with a customer satisfaction survey, prominently placed in each truck cab. Apart from checking customer satisfaction, they highlighted Ryder’s renewed commitment to service, enhancing future sales prospects. This approach contributed to Ryder’s ability to turn around its business.

In practice

  • Ensure that existing and potential customers have easily available information about the various services and benefits your company offers.
  • Collect feedback from clients to ensure their satisfaction and to present an image of your company as customer focused.
  • Enable customers to use your product—provide them with instructional information, ideas, online guides, people to talk with—anything that will empower the customer and help them adapt your product to their needs.