Regardless of the size and niche, your business needs customers to succeed. Customers play a vital role in any business as they essentially determine your profits and affect your branding and marketing. It'll be easier for your business to attain long-term success in the industry if you have many loyal customers.
The impact of customer behavior on your business should prompt you to exert time and effort to understand them better. It'll be easier for your business to determine which products and services to offer if you know your customers well. The information you can get from knowing your customers will also help you save resources as you'll know which strategies are appealing to them or not.
Here are five tips to help you better understand your customers:
1. Understand Your Market Niche
The products or services you create are for a particular market niche. Apparels, for example, are essential items for humans, but it'll be challenging for you to cater to every human being in the world who needs clothing.
If you want to understand your customers better, start looking at your market niche and know the people who are patronizing and paying for your products and services. Once you identify who your customers are, you'll be able to create a buyer persona and easily discover what their needs and preferences are. Buyer personas are representations of your customers based on research and data.
For instance, if you found out that mothers make up the most of your customer base, you can then focus your efforts on segmenting them. How old are these customers? What do they expect from your products or services? It'll be easier for you to come up with answers to these questions if you understand your market niche first.
2. Ask Your Sales Team About Your Customers
You'll have to wear different hats simultaneously when you start to run a business, which is why it's best if you delegate tasks to employees. Since your sales employees regularly communicate with your customers, they can also provide information about your customers' needs and wants, contributing to the characteristics of your typical buyer persona.
Hence, another way to understand your customers better is to ask your sales team about them. You can start by requiring daily or weekly reports from your employees about their engagement with the customers. This report will help your business determine if your customers are satisfied with your existing offerings, or they’re looking for more.
Since your sales representatives and support agents are interacting with your customers regularly, they can also assess the behavior and emotions of your customers when they walk into your store. Were the customers disappointed when informed that your business doesn't offer free delivery services? Were they happy to know that you offer freebies and discounts to bulk purchases? Your employees can take cues from the reaction of your customers and use this information to know them better.
3. Directly Ask Customers About Their Feedback
If your business operates online and doesn't have a physical store yet, asking your sales team about your customers might not be as effective. Fortunately, you can still determine what your customers think about your business by directly asking for their feedback.
Asking customers about their feedback is one of the easiest ways to know what they want, like, and dislike about your business. With the number of communication platforms available today, you can easily encourage feedback from customers located in different parts of the globe. You may ask customers for feedback through calls, SMS, or online surveys.
To ensure that your customers provide feedback, take the time to follow up with them every after purchase. This will ensure that your customers continue to engage with your business and show how you value their opinions.
4. Practice Active Social Listening
Billions of people use social media every day for many different purposes. While some use social media to communicate with their peers, others use this platform to educate themselves on the news happening worldwide. As the whole world uses social media today, you can make the most out of this platform by leveraging it to know more about your customers and their opinions regarding your business.
You can learn a lot of things about your customers when you practice active social listening on social media. You can do this by looking at reviews left by customers, both positive and negative, and engaging with them beyond automated scripts. You can also set up alerts on different social media platforms so you'll receive notifications whenever people start to talk about your business online.
Since social media is accessible to almost every human being in the world, you'll surely know your customers better when you always practice active social listening.
5. Pay Attention To Your Competitors
Contrary to popular belief, understanding your customers will not only require you to look into their behavior or reactions; you should also pay attention to what your competitors are doing because their activities can significantly influence how your customers will think about your business.
There are many ways on how you can identify your competitors' existing strategies. You can start by doing a competitor analysis and assess their offerings, determine their value, and the cost of each. Once you have this information, compare it to your own offerings and assess if your competitors are offering products that you don't have and vice versa.
Aside from doing your own research, you can also ask your customers' perceptions of your competitors through feedback. Are the customers interested in doing business with your competitors because they offer lower prices? Or are they still happy with your offerings and will continue to patronize your business? Your answers to these questions will help you understand how your customers behave based on the offerings of your competitors.
Remain Patient And Consistent
Customers are complex human beings who want different things at different times. More often than not, you'll come across customers whose purchasing decision is solely based on the price of the products, then some who are continuously looking for high-quality products.
Aside from following the strategies in this article, remember to remain patient and consistent with your efforts. Keep in mind that you'll only understand your customers if you incorporate the mentioned strategies into the daily operations of your business.