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10 ideas to get to know your customers better

Every business owner knows the importance of their customers. Customers help put a child through school, pay for ballet lessons, put food on the table, pay the bills and so much more. So, knowing this, why do so many business owners often fail to get to know their customers. The third Thursday of every quarter (January, April, July and October) is also known as Get to Know Your Customers Day, and there’s a very good reason for this. Find out more below!

Why should you get to know your customers?

These days, customers are tech-savvy, they read reviews, they leave reviews, they want the company they buy from to speak in a voice that they understand and to be heard. If you as a business owner get this right, this means you can turn leads into loyal fans, you can sell more while tailoring your products or services to your customers and ultimately, you can affect your bottom line. This is why getting to know your customers is so important. 

10 ideas to get to know your customers better

So, how can you actually know your customers? Here are 10 ideas for you to consider. 

1. Provide personal responses on social media

So many customers these days are on social media, posting both positive and negative comments when engaging with a brand. It’s crucial to listen to this type of feedback and respond to your customers as quickly as possible. If you receive a compliment, a simple thank you can do the trick. If it’s a complaint on the other hand, consider offering a consolation for their troubles – whatever the negative experience with your company was. Responding quickly and appropriately on social media will make your customers feel heard and valued. 

2. Start a dialogue – pick up the phone

If you’re thinking “how will I be able to call thousands of my customers on the phone”. There’s simply not enough time. Relax. There’s a trick to this. Gather the details of some of your oldest customers, then gather the details of some of your newest customers. Next, find some customers who have complained about your business and those who have complimented it. You should have a group of around 20 individuals by now. This narrows it down quite a bit, doesn’t it? Finally, it’s time to pick up the phone and ask them for a time convenient for them to talk. Consider recording the conversation but make sure you get their consent first. As a last tip here: ask as many open-ended questions as you can and limit questions with yes/no answers. 

3.Use analytics to your advantage

The world of business is growing quickly and there are so many tools available on the market for analytics. Google Analytiсs is your best friend here although you can use internal data and statistics to compile a list of pluses and minuses regarding your customer’s journey with your business. The trick is to pool as much internal data as possible and collate it into a workable document where you can glean insights from. Then, take it from there.

4. Take advantage of customer surveys

Customer surveys are a rich source of information. Here you can find information about your customers’ likes and dislikes, their needs and wants, the ways in which they’d like to develop further, what they envision the future like and so much more. This is your opportunity to shine and gather as much information as possible. You can ask any type of question that is relevant to your business. The trick, however, is to use the insights you’ve gathered afterwards to improve your products or service offering. 

5. Show appreciation

It’s pure courtesy to say thank you once in a while and it’s only human to want to feel appreciated. This is why you should consider sending your customers a small thank you note or token of appreciation for being a loyal customer. This can go a long way and it shows that you care about them. If you’re just starting your small business, you can do that in person, your customers will appreciate it even more.

6. Create a robust customer profile

Many businesses have spent time and resources creating their ideal buyer persona or avatar. But where is this persona in your daily operations? Is it buried so deep in a file in some folder on your desktop that you forgot it exists? It’s time to bring it out and get the dust off so that you can remind yourself of who your customers are and what they are looking for and expecting from your business. 

7. Pool together customer reviews

Another source of inspiration you can use to improve your customer offering and get to know your customers better is to look closely at your customer reviews. Both positive and negative. Look at all reviews and don’t discriminate against any of them. For the positive ones, try to identify what common themes emerge from your customers in terms of what works for them. Conversely, for the negative ones, try to identify common themes of regularly experienced problems or challenges. What then? Then, you need to make an action plan on how to resolve these problems and the important thing is to let your customers know you are working on the issues. 

8. Do keyword searches

If you’re running an online shop, blog, or basically any type of online business, you can’t ignore the importance of keyword research. Use various keyword programs to see what types of keywords your customers use. This will help you get a feel for their tone of voice and also identify some of their pain points. By knowing this vital information, you’ll also be able to craft a plan going forward for how to address these pain points and give your customers a more seamless experience. 

9. Check out what your competitors are doing

We are not saying that you need to copy everything your competition is doing, but it is worth it to look at their actions. How are they marketing and positioning themselves? What discounts, offers and sales are they providing their customers with? What tone of voice do they use and is this voice consistent with their brand? Are there any principles and ideals that they promote? What are they and how might you apply this practice to your business? 

10. Forecast and plan for the future

It’s all well and good to have insights about your customers, but you also need a plan for the future. After all, inactionable data is simply not worthwhile data. This is why you need to use these insights, anticipate changes, forecast new developments, communicate this effectively and plan for the future. 

Final thoughts

There are many ways of getting to know your customers and whichever way or ways you choose to do so will only yield good results. You’ll figure out if you’re doing something wrong, and you’ll be able to (with careful listening and planning) implement new action steps to help your business grow while supporting your customers on their journey with you. 

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