Stop Assuming What Your Customers Want – Ask Them
Customers come to businesses to solve their problems. Maybe they’re feeling a bit peckish. The solution might be a beef burger at a café or a chicken sammie at a sandwich joint. Maybe they’ve decided to lose weight. The solution could be activewear, shoes or a Fitbit. Maybe their wedding anniversary is coming up and they need to do something special (because last year was a fail). The solution could be a meal at a fine dining restaurant or a bunch of flowers from a florist.
Positioning your business as the solution to your customer’s problem means that you’re not just offering them a product or service, you’re also providing a meaningful solution to their problem.
Find out what makes your customers tick
Step back from your business’ core capabilities. Get to know your customers and position your business as a solution to their problems. But to figure out what that problem is, you need to ask your customers. This isn’t an exercise in seeing how many strangers you can persuade to invite you around for dinner though; use customer engagement indicators to make data-driven discoveries about what, when, where, why and how they do what they do.
Customer research is worth every penny
Every opportunity you have to communicate with a customer or measure customer engagement is an investment, not an expense. The more you understand how a customer makes a purchasing decision (instead of guessing or assuming), the more you’ll directly impact your bottom line. Customer metrics give businesses the power to laser focus on their customers’ requirements, expectations, motivations and (possibly most importantly) friction points. Knowing what annoys them about you or your process will help you make changes to provide better service.
It’s what you do with your findings that matters
Too many businesses start the process of getting to know their clients better, then never do anything with their intel because it’s just ‘too hard basket’. But the data that you’ve discovered about your customers could literally change the way you do business, even if it does mean implementing scary changes or creating new processes.
Timing, relevancy & value
Gone are the days of emailing the same message to your whole database. Now it’s about sending personalised communications that are relevant to your people and received when the time is right for them, because what piques their interest today might not tomorrow. But this doesn’t mean you need to hand-write emails to each of your customers; utilising marketing automation tools that send the right messaging to the right people at the right time will make that part of the process much easier.
Making an idea a reality
If the value of getting to know your customers makes sense to you but you have no idea how to go about it, get in touch with VOLOM’s Cory Gordon who’ll lead you through the process. He has extensive experience around developing personalised communication and customer nurturing streams, utilising the latest marketing automation software, and is committed to seeing quantifiable, valuable change in everyday Kiwi businesses just like yours.