10 Ways of Getting to know Your Customers Better

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For business enterprises to be profitable they need to churn out products and services that their customers will like. Getting concrete insights into the minds of customers is extremely difficult. But it is possible to improve customer experience by leveraging information that is acquired by implementing the right processes and focusing on the key data points. The people in a business enterprise who are tasked with aligning customer care with business goals often refer only the customer’s purchasing history and profile information to get a clear picture of the customer’s mindset but with little success.

A survey conducted by Yesmail Interactive, a marketing solutions provider and research firm Gleanster has found that close to 80% of the brands in the market do not have sufficient data to launch an effective marketing campaign. Even though basic information can be easily obtained from various sources, getting to know the customers is harder than ever before. To increase conversion rate, business enterprises need to have a clear understanding about who their customers are and what drives them. When a business enterprise takes a decision to make an effort towards having a better understanding of their customers, they are actually taking a giant leap towards making their company and brand better.

Here are few ways of getting to know your customers better:

1) Don’t Make Assumptions
Assumptions with regard to the customer’s preferences and beliefs must be discarded as it is not considered as a smart marketing strategy. Any tactic that might have been successful one year may not be as successful the next. Customer’s interaction with a brand keeps on evolving over time and business enterprises, instead of basing their decisions on past practices, must utilize up-to-date data about their customers to come up with strategies that will work in the favor of the customers. With the influx of latest information, business enterprises will get to know their customers better and let go of generic assumptions to achieve success in their business outcomes and provide enhanced customer experience.

2) Leverage Social Media
A survey has found that only 38% of marketers rely on data from social media that could help them in better targeting. Having a social media account is a must for business enterprises who can leverage it to interact with their customers. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide insights on customer’s likings, their habits and most importantly what they are buying. Customers usually have various complaints regarding a product or service and by resolving them through social media, business enterprises can learn a great deal about their customer’s likes and dislikes. Most of the posts on Facebook or Twitter garner additional comments from old customers as well as prospective customers which the company can use to get to know their customers better. As the interaction between the company and customer is visible to all, it displays to everyone the company’s stand towards customer satisfaction.

3) Ask Customers
This is one of the simplest methods that business enterprises can employ to get to know their customers better. Asking questions will provide insights into what the customers really need and helps companies to serve them better. The questions must emphasize on both ‘why’ as well as ‘how’ to get a clear picture of what has to be accomplished to provide superior customer experience. This method can really help companies to find new opportunities and stand out from their competition.

4) Conduct Surveys
Surveys are one of the best methods to gain honest feedback regarding a product or service. Conducting surveys and getting feedback from the customers goes a long way in the understanding what the customers are thinking and how they feel about a product or service. To get specific information about customers, personal surveys can be very helpful. Companies can conduct surveys through their website by using software tools such as Qualaroo, WebEngage or Foresee. The company must conduct a close scrutiny of the survey to get insights into the minds of the people who responded and change the marketing strategy accordingly.

5) Hold an Event
If a business enterprise has a physical location in a community, it is advisable to host a suitable event that will provide an opportunity to interact with the customers. It is better to organize the event in a target market area. Companies may encounter customers who are happy or dissatisfied with the product or service and even interact with prospective customers. For web-based businesses, a webinar can help the company to better understand their customers. The attendees must be given a chance to introduce themselves and questions must be put forth to understanding their mindset.

6) Look Past the Purchase
A study conducted by Yesmail and Gleanster has found that more than 50% of the companies have a good understanding of their customer’s past purchase behavior. But this information does not have the requisite data to influence marketing campaigns as in-depth knowledge about the customer cannot be gained. Business enterprises must make an honest effort to consider household compositions, propensity scores and channel-preference data that are guaranteed to provide results because of the tremendous value that they possess.

7) Create a Customer Profile
Business enterprises have a better understanding of the demographics that they are working towards but the need of the hour is to create a perfect profile of a customer who would avail the product or service that is being provided. A customer profile is a great way for a company to gauge the needs of the customer. The profile must include a customer’s likes, dislikes, family background and other important aspects.

8) Conduct Keyword Research
The mindset of the customer can be better understood by using the keyword planning tool by Google. Customers conduct vigorous online research for the items they want to purchase and most importantly, from whom they want to purchase. Keyword research allows business enterprises to understand the interests of their target markets and the terms that customers use to find the product or service that they need. The main goal of keyword research is to find keyword phrases that are suitable for the business but it also helps to gain an understanding of how the customers are finding what they need.

9) Get Customer Reviews
Business enterprises can get reviews from their customers through various channels such as the comment box on social media platforms, testimonials on the company’s website or from reviews by customers on business review websites such as Yelp. Honest reviews on the above-mentioned platforms can be instrumental for the companies to get to know their customers better. Companies can encourage reviews from customers by providing incentives. For example, a restaurant chain offers customers a small discount on their next order for writing online reviews. The customer reviews that are received must be categorized, tabulated and prioritized so that the company can understand their customers better and provide the best possible customer experience.

10) Use All Available Data
Business enterprises usually have a limited amount of customer information which is obtained directly from the customers. The analytics on the landing pages must be given more importance as it details the customer’s physical location, the search term that was used to arrive at the landing page and what product or service was selected. But another set of information such as web analytics, behavioral data and profitability is not easily accessible to companies. This causes impediments in the marketing process making it difficult for companies to meet the needs of their customers. The best way for companies to remain competitive is to utilize every bit of information that is available at their disposal.

Understanding customers is a long process. However, once companies are aware of the above methods, they will be able to advertise their products in an improved manner. Companies can also employ the services of an expert call center service provider to understand their customers better. In today’s complex and ever-evolving digital landscape, business enterprises have to leverage the available data to gain invaluable insights on their customers that will help them broaden their reach.

1 COMMENT

  1. All good, of course; but what about the rich veins of insight, interaction and relationship-building available fhrough customer communities and/or market research online communities (MROCs)?

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