How can you give your customers what they want if you don’t know what it is? That’s the question that business owners must answer if they expect success.
It’s important to understand your customers better. That’s because it allows you to do more than meet their demands.
Additionally, it enables you to remain one step ahead. You’ll deliver what they want before they know they want it.
However, understanding your customers requires knowing everything about your clientele. Demographics aren’t enough. You need to go further. You need to know their backgrounds and marital status.
Do they have kids? If so, how many and what are their names? What kind of hobbies do they prefer? Income levels and gender aren’t good enough anymore.
These days, you need to know what makes them tick. It’s important to analyze their habits. You must understand their every move and decision.
Having this level of information about your customers is essential. It gives you the best opportunity to give them what they want. Additionally, it’s one of the most crucial secrets of successful entrepreneurs.
Unlock the Customer
Think of each customer as a locked box. Inside are all the secrets to making them happy and, therefore, loyal to your business.
You might want to get into that box pretty fast. So how do you go by accomplishing this?
For starters, keep your promises. Nothing brings a return visit like exceptional customer service. Everyone wants to feel special and important.
Let’s say a customer walks through the door. Naturally, they have a certain level of expectation in your product or service. Deliver on those expectations.
The art of listening is lost in today’s marketplace. However, that art should be mastered. In doing so, you can separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
You can’t understand your customers unless you get to know them. Find out those characteristics we just mentioned.
Thus, you can reap the benefits of their repeat business. Plus, it will result in positive recommendations to friends, family, and colleagues.
One Happy Customer Can Result in Many More
Therefore, unlock your customer by finding out what they’re all about. That comes from being observant to their needs. Listen when you interact together.
You can pick up many of their characteristics quite easily. That’s done merely by paying attention when they speak.
You’ll gather their income level, their attitudes, and their habits. You’ll even learn their age and the things they want and need. This all can be gathered in some of the most simplistic ways.
The best and most direct method is by swapping positions with them. View your business from the other side of the counter. How do things look from there?
Would you be satisfied if you walked in the door and received your customer service? Be honest. If not, you’re only fooling yourself. Plus, you’re hurting your brand.
Another valuable method is through data collection. Understand your customer’s spending habits. Figure out where and what they buy, when and why.
Their purchasing behaviors can say a lot about who they are and what they want. Also, what they are prepared to do in order to get it.
Why is this Important?
They say knowledge is power. When you have it, you have options. Without it, you’re struggling to put your finger on the pulse of the buying public.
Smart business owners can use this knowledge. It predicts trends in their customers’ desires. Thusly, they create solutions to problems or obstacles even before they emerge.
Possessing this data gives you options for every level and component of your business. It allows you to come up with new products that people might buy.
Additionally, you can compose solutions to real-world, everyday issues. It can even help you identify the best locations for offering your product or service.
The data can also provide you with other information. This includes the ability to determine the price customers are willing to pay for your offerings.
A customer shouldn’t be an acquaintance. Instead, you should foster a relationship together. Yet, there are businesses that aren’t able to have this level of interaction.
In fact, those businesses largely fail. Why? For the simple fact that they don’t know what the customer is seeking. Plus, they aren’t sure how to deliver it even if they did.
This relationship is called a buying experience. Ensure that experience is positive for you and the customer. This is done, merely, by having a conversation with that individual.
Be the Customer
One way to understand the customer better is by switching places. Consider all the points of contact at a customer’s disposal to interact with you.
As you may have guessed, this is an exercise in which you take stock of your business. You need to determine if you are offering a truly positive buying experience.
First, inventory the level of expertise. It can come from meeting you and your business. Maybe they have contacted you on the phone or via email.
Perhaps, it was through your website. It could be from any methods available for reaching out to patronize your business.
Next, observe the premises if you have one. Many businesses operate online stores. They don’t require a showroom or point of sale where a customer may visit.
Do you offer a brick and mortar alternative to the online experience? If so, does it live up to your standards?
Is the business clean? Does it convey a level of professionalism making people comfortable? Will it prompt them to return?
What about the customer service greeting them at the door? Do you have a receptionist or front desk person who is kind and courteous?
Step inside your business. Then, you’ll see how it would feel if you were the customer.
Is there even an inkling of disapproval on your part? How do you think your customer feels every time they enter your establishment?
The goal here is to create an atmosphere. Come up with the kind you’d want to experience the next time you walk into a business.
Is your business heavily dependent on telephone conversation? If so, how committed are you to return phone calls and correspond with clientele?
A customer who is kept waiting won’t wait very long. Instead, they will walk across the street to your competition.
The worst part is that it doesn’t matter if you offer a superior product at a better price. You don’t want the customer feeling ignored.
Nor, do you want them to have a negative buying experience. Certainly, they won’t likely be back to endure that again.
The most important thing to remember is that you can always improve. You returned an email a half hour later. Do better. Next time do it in half the time.
Your product has a 3.5 rating on Amazon. In that case, aim for 4 by next month. Customers will be quick to tell you when they are disappointed by something.
Thus, the key is figuring out how to rectify the problem. Then, take the steps to accomplish that task.
Let’s say you visit a business. Do you like a clinical and emotionless response to your concerns? Conversely, do you prefer a personal touch?
Most customers enjoy it when you remember their name. They are impressed when you refer to them as such the next time they come in.
It brings a level of comfort. This makes your business more than just a storefront. It’s a place of familiarity.
This extends far and wide. Every thriving business should have a database of all current and former customers. It should include their particular characteristics, many of which we’ve discussed.
This database contains a wealth of beneficial information. It can be used to streamline and improve your products and customer service.
Remember, there’s always room to improve. Here is where you can make many of the necessary adjustments.
This is done by auditing the data you’ve gathered on your clientele. Some of that data can be collected directly from your customers. That includes conversations you’ve conducted with your customers from their visits to the premises.
Yet, there’s more. Your data also includes product orders, shipping processes, delivery times, and so on.
Analyzing this level of information can make your business more efficient, and operate more smoothly. The goal is to improve customer satisfaction.
Thus, get your orders in faster. Process them quicker. Then, deliver at higher rates of speed.
Don’t stop there. Keep reading through your data. You’ll pick up on the buying habits of your clientele.
Which products were the most popular? When were certain products purchased most frequently? Break down your sales by demographics.
Are women buying more of something than men? Are younger customers more interested in something than older ones?
Knowing all of these things can help your business. You’ll develop new products, offer better services.
Plus, it will help you improve the overall performance of your business. This is done by meeting the demands of your customers, based on the information they’ve willingly given you.
The most successful businesses are able to reach the top of their field. They do it by learning from their customer base what works and what doesn’t.
Though, getting this information won’t always be garnered if you leave it to the customer. Most likely, they won’t tell you on their own.
You may need to ask them outright. Asking for feedback is one of the most honest and upfront methods for understanding your customers.
Feedback, surveys, and reviews are all great resources. They gather your customers’ thoughts and opinions about your business.
You need to hear negative feedback from your customers directly. Otherwise, their friends and family may hear about it instead. If you can find out if something isn’t working, you can fix it.
Yet, sometimes an unhappy customer tells others about their dissatisfaction. In that case, it can increase the risk of pushing away potential business.
That is something you can’t fix. Unfortunately, once that business is lost it’s very difficult to bring it back to your doorstep.
Therefore, give your customers a voice and an avenue for expressing their thoughts. Listen and act on what you’ve been told.
This is why understanding your customers are important. Without them, you can’t and won’t succeed.
If you have any comments about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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