Getting to know your customers is essential for any sales strategy. The information you obtain from conducting customer research will help you make informed decisions regarding how you should market your goods or services. Questions you should ask yourself include Who are my customers? and What are my customers wants and needs? Questions such as these will help you define your sales strategy and understand your customers better.
The first thing you need to do is design a set of questions specific to your customers that will help you obtain the pertinent information you will need. Below are seven steps to help you find the answers.
Ask your customers directly. You can ask your customers questions in various ways to get to know them better. You can email your existing customers, add a poll to your website, or create a survey using a service like SurveyMonkey.com or a plug-in like Survey Gizmo. You can even conduct customer service phone calls and survey your customers over the telephone.
Use website analytics tools. Google Analytics is a free tool that you can add to your website to find out how many customers use your site, what pages they view, the keywords they search to find your site, how long they stay on each page, what pages convert the most viewers into customers, and much more. You can use this information to improve your website design, navigation system, product and service descriptions, and even your checkout process. For instance, if excessive amounts of visitors leave your site from a specific page, something on that page may frustrate them or cause them to lose interest.
Create a business blog. Not only will this help attract customers to your website by providing useful information and optimizing for keywords, but the comments also will tell you a lot about your customers. You can get to know them better on a personal level including their likes, dislikes, and opinions. You may even create connections that are valuable to your business.
Embrace social networking. Your social media profiles are a great place to learn about your customers. You can visit their profiles, interact with them, and obtain demographical information through features such as Facebook Insights. Social media is also a terrific place to poll your audience and ask the questions you need answered. However, do not forget that you can use social media as a customer service tool.
Track your customers’ compliments as well as complaints. Regardless of how you receive them—email, website, social media, or in-store comment cards—create an Excel spreadsheet to track the compliments and complaints you receive from your customers. This will enable you to see good and bad patterns as well as strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to adjust your business, make improvements, and highlight successes.
Listen to your customers. The most important way to get to know your customers is by listening to them. Hear what they say on social networks, your blog, at events, in your store, and everywhere else you have a chance to speak with them. Keep in mind, the best way to hear them listen is to ask them questions directly.
I Have the Answers. Now What?
Once you have gathered the necessary information, use it to learn who your customers truly are. When you know who benefits from your goods and services and what specific products solve their problems, you can begin to improve your business. You can learn to predict their needs and achieve better results. Most importantly, getting to know your customers means you will have happy customers, which equal returning customers and loyalty.