Ask Your Customers (It’s Lucky the Boston Symphony Orchestra Did)


If you were a symphony orchestra that wanted to boost audience numbers, what would you do?

The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) had this problem, and tackled it with the most obvious solution first: Get more people through the door, let them enjoy the orchestra experience, and that would turn that into enthusiastic fans.

Well, that was the theory, anyway. In practice, the first part – getting new people through the door – worked. But the BSO discovered that over 90% of first-time concert-goers didn’t come back!

You could guess at the reasons. Perhaps they didn’t understand the music. Or maybe the acoustics weren’t great. Or they didn’t get good seats.

Luckily for the BSO, they didn’t guess. They did the right thing, and asked these concert-goers why they didn’t come back (a third-party organisation did the survey on their behalf).

What did they find? The number one reason given was not the hall, the seats, the conductor or the music. The most important reason for not coming back was … parking! The regular concert-goers knew where to park so they had no reason to complain, but the newcomers found it to be a major problem – so they didn’t come back.

Isn’t it lucky the Boston Symphony Orchestra took the time to ask their customers? They would probably never have guessed otherwise!

How often do you survey your customers and clients to find out what they really want? If you don’t, you might never know about the parking!

This is especially important now.

COVID-19 has forced many people to re-examine and re-evaluate their priorities, especially when it comes to the most important things in their lives – such as health, immediate family, ageing parents, travel and down-time, short-term cash flow, long-term financial security, working from home, and career changes.

If you haven’t been in touch with your customers recently, you might still be operating from old assumptions that simply aren’t true anymore.

This is a really good time to reconnect with your customers. Most of them will appreciate you reaching out, and you might be surprised just what matters most to them now.



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