The Value of Ignorance

Posted by Siobhan Hitchmough

You have two types of customers: your experienced customers, and your new customers.

It’s important to listen to your experienced customers and keep them happy.  Everybody knows this, and almost everybody does a good job with this.  After all, it’s easy.  You’ve already built up a relationship with them and have a basic understanding of each other.  On the other hand, you will need to appeal to new customers to grow your business.

Talking with new customers is much harder because they don’t know anything about your business.  You might both have different assumptions, like what your product does, how to use it, or how it can help them.  Even worse, once you finally understand each other, your customer is no longer a new customer.  He has permanently lost something precious:  his ignorance.

You need to seek out people with this ignorance about your business, because that’s the only way to find out how to make it easier and more attractive for other new and potential customers.  For example, inFlow is often praised for being easy to use, but we still hear from people confused about how to do things like set up inventory for the first time.  This confusion is precious, because it points out where we can make improvements.

When somebody asks you a question out of ignorance, think about how to prevent future new customers from getting confused.

Siobhan Hitchmough

About Siobhan Hitchmough

Siobhan Hitchmough is a customer advocate, community manager and part-time tutorial wrangler. When she's not seeking out new challenges she leads the community and support team at inFlow Inventory.

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