Knowing your customer is an essential part of your business, a highly valuable one. Knowing who your customers are will drive conversions and boost your business’s revenue and overall success on many levels. Successful organizations have a customer-first approach ingrained within their company's culture.
These are the people who purchase your product or service and are the same people who are recommending it to other potential customers in the future. Successful organizations have a customer-first approach ingrained within their company's culture.
Regardless of whether you are just starting up or have had some success over the past 10 years, times are changing and the customer journey has never been more important than before.
Gaining essential feedback can be another area to start if you have a business that needs to adapt to your customer's journey. Research is just the beginning, you must be relentless when it comes to collecting and analyzing data when comes down to finding and understanding what your target audience really wants and needs from your business.
You need to understand what makes them tick, what are their pain points, and how can your business provide these people with the solution they need to make their customer journey an easy and exciting one. When you truly understand your target audience the momentum will start to build and like traction, these people will stick around.
Let's take a look at some ways you can get to know your customers better and how to keep them intrigued and engaged.
1. The Customer Journey Stages
Let us break down what is in a customer journey and its stages, this will help you understand the process of what a customer is going through from the starting point of awareness to get to the end where they make a purchase and because of all your effort remain your customer.
Awareness involves getting information about your business and its product and/or service to your target audience. During this stage of the customer journey, consumers are searching for solutions and will encounter different brands and their offerings.
This is where you want to make a great impression and impact with content by creating educational blogs, podcasts videos, polls, surveys, etc. You want to bring awareness to your brand and showcase its value.
Businesses want to focus on promotion during this stage of the customer journey. This is where customers will start to look for alternatives to prior purchases. Your brand will most likely be considered alongside others, so make sure every impression you make counts.
This is where you want potential customers to include your business on their list of potential brands to purchase from. This is where you want to include in-depth information such as specifications, features, customer support policies, and comparison reviews, this can help you stand out from your competition.
This conversion stage encourages visitors to take action. Using a dedicated CTA (call-to-action ) you can encourage them to make a purchase. It can be anything; from subscribing to your email list, signing up for a newsletter, GWP (gift with purchase), etc.
This is your moment to persuade your potential customer during their customer journey and they will make a decision whether to buy it or not. Keep in mind they may be considering pricing and value, policies, how easy is it to return something, etc. Setting up the proper engaging information is critical here since consumers want to support a brand they trust for quality solutions.
At this stage, you have a new customer. All your hard work and dedication have paid but do not assume it is a done deal. In addition to bringing consistent business to an organization, loyal customers also cost less than bringing in new ones.
Customer retention includes obviously keeping customers happy which prevents them from leaving. You must be sure to maintain a top-quality e-commerce site as well as provide the option of a loyalty program, regular, promos/discounts, and engaging content rendering your products and services.
It is widely acknowledged that word-of-mouth has many benefits. However, not many organizations will commit to boosting customer advocacy, but there are options to spread the word. If you encourage each and every customer to share their reviews or opinions with some type of incentive it boosts rankings on Google, you can reach out to influencers as well as a guest blogger as an effective way to get your message out.
Also, leverage the power of social media because it tends to have a more relaxed approach and this is likely where your customers will want to share about your offerings. As we mentioned above, incentives are a great idea to get the ball rolling.
2. Get To Know Your Customer Through Market Research
Now that you know about the customer journey and what it takes to fulfill that journey let’s break down what is needed so you can actually find out who your customer really is.
Market research is a key tool and an awesome way of collecting data. This useful information can teach you so much about the customers you want to attract. You not only will be getting to know who your customers are but also what these people are really into.
By investing in a good market research campaign you can directly affect the specific target customers you want to showcase your products or services. Here are some examples of what a good marketing research campaign should entail.
- Are customers willing to buy what I am selling?
- Am I solving the customer's problem with my product or service?
- How much are the customers willing to pay for what I have to offer?
- Does my product or service target a general customer or a more specialized one?
- What are my competitors offering these customers?
- Am I able to counteroffer my competitor and provide a better product or service with a greater solution?
- Where are customers purchasing, and where online is the best platform to target and engage them?
- Is my business reaching the customers’ expectations?
These are just some examples of the beginning of a marketing research campaign. The data collected will greatly benefit you and your business in the future. If your business can provide a greater solution than your competition your customers will be loyal and future sales will flourish.
3. Understanding Your Customer's Buying Behavior
In order to succeed in any business endeavor, it is important to understand what your customers are looking for and how to make your product or service available to them in the most effective way.
The depth of knowledge you need to attain about these people is so crucial, it requires knowing more than their names, ages, sex, and incomes. Knowing your customer’s hobbies, tastes, and interests along with what they watch, listen to, and read can be a profitable advantage. You need to take advantage of all information available to you which includes understanding your customer’s buying behavior.
You need to understand what type of person is most likely to need or want the product or service you provide. These are some of the key questions that successful business owners need to ask themselves on a daily basis:
- What is their reason for purchasing your product or service?
- How often are they going to need to buy that product or utilize the service? If you can be proactive with your outreach efforts around the time you know they will purchase, chances are the customer won’t look elsewhere.
- Who are they buying for? Your messaging and promotion are going to be contingent upon if they are purchasing for themselves or for someone else.
- Where are they most likely to purchase? If you are a brick-and-mortar business and hear from your customers that they would prefer to order online, then it makes sense to change your business model to include an eCommerce or online ordering component.
4. Create Comprehensive Contact Information
Utilize a CRM application that is easy to use and holds a detailed and accurate contact list.
This is why globally thousands upon thousands of businesses every year implement a CRM solution to efficiently store their customer data. You will be able to handle ongoing interactions between customers and your business with ease by building a significant customer profile.
5. Utilize Customer Service Interactions To Your Advantage
Customer service interactions are one of the best times to get a look into the customer's psyche, you can create a specific questionnaire or set of questions for your customer service representatives to utilize In order to find out what your customers like and dislike about the product or service, your service representatives can ask them a set of questions.
- How do they use the product or service?
- Are they satisfied with the product or service?
- What changes would they like to see made regarding the product or service?
- Do they enjoy a loyalty program or prefer discounts?
You will begin to accumulate valuable customer insight by practicing this experience regularly, and that knowledge will help you frame targeted messages that make customers feel valued and appreciated.
Customer service is by far a tried and true way of showing customers that they are heard and that they are appreciated. Having a great customer service team behind your product or service amps up the quality of your brand, it will leave your customer with a sense of being taken care of and that feeling that they are a priority.
People, in general, want to be taken care of especially when money is involved. If a person took the time to purchase from your business, take the time to make them feel appreciated and give thanks to you because it goes a long way. Here are some suggestions to make your customers know you care.
- Provide a good product or service.
- Provide real solutions.
- Meet customer expectations
- Listen to customer complaints or suggestions.
- Loyalty and thank you programs.
- Surveys or inquiry emails about the product or service they've purchased.
Remember customers are people as much as getting to know them is important for your business to grow and thrive so is the human factor of appreciating them. Many businesses forget this aspect and it can cost the business dearly in the end. Like all good relationships, it's both give and take, just try not to forget that.
On another note, an omnichannel approach to your available customer service(s) for your customers is really going to provide them with a reliable and seamless feeling of being well cared for by your business and brand.
Without understanding your customers how can you ever provide them with what they need? Simply put, you will fail in your marketing or sales campaigns if you don't. So, make sure you look at the numbers, remember that we are all people here, and think about how important it is to know your customers. In 2023, it is crucial for any organization to build strong, lasting relationships with its potential and current customers.
By doing so, you will increase brand identity and brand trust, which will not only lead to more repeat business but also more customer referrals. The business goals you want to achieve are insightful and will be easier to attain if you take the time to get to really know your customers and understand what they want, need, tick, and desire.