Your customers are the backbone of your business, and, as such, it’s not hard to see how you could benefit from knowing them as well as possible. Alas, the usual complaint from companies is that while they want to understand their clients better, in practice, it’s not all that easy to do. This was once a truism, but we’ve come a long way in recent years, and now there are plenty of ways to dig a little deeper into the mind of your customer, especially in the digital sphere. We take a look at a few of these methods below.
A Solid Buying Persona
But before you get too deep in to understand who your customers are and what makes them tick, you should have a basic understanding of the type of people interested in your business. This is called your ‘buying persona,’ and while it doesn’t lead you to the mountaintop of customer knowledge, it does at least function as a way to understand who you’re NOT targeting. Understand that your target customer is 30-45 and has a high disposable income won’t give you everything, but at least you’ll know not to target the 18-21 poor student demographics, for instance.
Past Buying Habits
Your customers have already told you a lot about themselves. You just need to know where to look. For example, a customer has bought stuff from you before, and if you’ve got their basic information, then you know what that was. If you know that someone has purchased a tent, stove, and ax from you, then you can be reasonably sure they’ll be interested in outdoor clothing gear. This is actually how Amazon boosts their sales. They get to know their customers by seeing what they’ve bought previously, and then market related products to them. Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely!
Identify Who They Are
However, this method won’t work for all of your customers. It’ll only work with your past customers; it does nothing for your future customers, the ones who are interested but haven’t yet made the relationship between themselves and your company official. But good news: there’s a way to understand something about these people too. It’s called Visual Visitor, and it’ll help you identify the people who visit your website but who don’t identify themselves (for example, by logging in to an account). These form the bulk of visitors to your website, so it’s not hard to see how you could benefit from knowing who they are!
Analyse How They’re Using Your Website
Your customers will subconsciously tell you the areas of your website that they like, and the areas that they don’t. You’ve got all the data there; you just need to use it! Have a look at what pages your visitors look at and how long they spend there. If you’ve got some pages that people rarely seem to visit or click out of straight away, then you’ve got a pretty clear image that your customers don’t approve. Just by looking at the data you’ll have gotten to know your customers that little bit better. Perfect!
Ask for Feedback
If you want to know what your customers are thinking, then you could always try something novel and…ask them. If you’re not sending your customers feedback forms after the transaction has been completed, then what are you waiting for? They might have a lot on their mind, and are just waiting for an opportunity to speak up. OK, in reality most of your customers will ignore those emails you send, but the rare few will respond. If response rates are really low, offer a sweetener, such as the chance to win a gift certificate.
Follow Your Social Media Mentions
Of course, some customers are going to give their feedback in a less direct way. They’ll just talk about your company to their follower on social media., and they might not tag your company in it. It’s good practice to search for your company’s name on Twitter and the like. You might receive some praise…but in reality, most people use these platforms to complain. Still, you’ll learn something about how to improve your services!
Face to Face Meetings
Finally, don’t forget the tried and tested face to face meetings. People are more open when they’re speaking face to face, and more likely to give a company credit when they see the people working behind the scenes. When you have cause to celebrate, host an event and invite your most loyal customers to attend.
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