Seven Simple Ways To Get To Know Your Customers Better
If you want to better serve your clients, it helps to understand their expectations and behaviors. With all the disruption and uncertainty of recent months, your clients probably have different needs than they did last year. It’s important to get to know how their business has changed so you can meet them where they are right now.
Scott Steinberg, an author and consultant, says there are many affordable ways to conduct market research and get to know your customers better. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Steinberg’s seven simple strategies to get valuable information about your clients.
1. Analytics and data mining tools. Make sure you use platforms that allow you to discern how clients are interacting with your website and emails. What pages do they visit most often? What emails do they open? Steinberg recommends looking for key information such as internet sources, the time spent on your site and how often customers buy from your site, if you provide that option.
2. Polls and questionnaires. It is easier than ever to ask your clients a few quick questions about your products and services. However, Steinberg notes that many customers are inundated with feedback requests. To get them to pay attention to your poll, consider incentivizing with a small discount. And be sure to let your clients know how much you appreciate their input.
3. Virtual focus groups and panels. Steinberg says that online public opinion and research providers can help you put together sample audiences to source feedback. Want to reach buyers in the legal market, for example? Get to know this target customer audience to help guide your marketing strategies.
4. Early access to new products. Are you unveiling new products or programs? Allow your current clients first access and get their opinions on how you can improve these new offerings. According to Steinberg, this is an effective way to build goodwill and reinforce that their opinion matters.
5. Targeted online surveys or quizzes. Rather than sending out a blanket questionnaire to your entire client base, narrow down with specific audiences. This allows you to get a feel for specific needs and requirements for various groups, whether you are polling restaurant owners or medical professionals.
6. Customer recognition. Another way to get to know your customers better is to feature them in your promotional campaigns. Invite them to provide feedback on industry trends or new concepts, and then give them a shout-out on your website or social media channels. Steinberg notes that small businesses are especially keen on building online forums and communities around their brand specifically for the sounding board aspect.
7. Connect with industry thought leaders. Want to know what leaders in a specific field are thinking? Ask to interview them for your company blog or video series. Many experts are willing to share their thoughts and opinions in exchange for publicity, says Steinberg.
The better you know your customers, the more you can anticipate their needs and the more value you can provide. Fortunately, you do not need a suite of expensive tools to conduct market research. Often, all you need to do is look for ways to communicate with your clients, whether you send them a quick poll or invite them to weigh in as part of a client panel. By taking time to build personal relationships, you will ultimately see better outcomes.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Scott Steinberg is an author, consultant, public speaker, video host and entrepreneur.