Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s crucial to really know who they are. If you understand your market, you can more easily meet their needs. Your business may appeal to more than one market, which makes it more complicated. Here are five easy tips to for getting to know your customers.
Make Marketing Personas
Hold a meeting with key people at your company and discuss the different types of people your company serves (or wants to serve). Write down their demographics — age, gender, income, interests — plus their wants and needs. Write down which of your offerings would appeal to which type of customer. Use this information to create a “persona” for each one. For example, your middle-aged soccer mom customers with an income above $50K might be “Mavis Mom.” The young college students who buy your online video subscriptions could be “Sam Student.” Draw a picture of each one and make sure everyone at the company knows who they are, what they want, and how to appeal to them.
Surveys are often overlooked as tools for getting to know your market. Use an online survey tool such as Constant Contact or Survey Monkey to ask questions about demographics and solicit opinions. Send the survey link out to your opt-in email list and social media fans. Email the survey link more than once. If you have a physical presence, make a version of the survey that can be filled in with a pen. You might offer a small incentive for filling in the survey, such as a coupon or special item.
Make Your Own FAQ
What are the questions your customers ask frequently? Start a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Give everyone in your company access to the FAQ and encourage them to contribute questions. If they do not know the answer to a question, work together get the answer. This FAQ will be invaluable for making marketing decisions, improving your products or services, and training employees. For the same reasons, you should also develop a system for tracking comments from customers.
Keep your ear to the ground in your community. Read your local papers carefully to spot trends and look for opportunities. Create Google Alerts on key phrases related to your market. Monitor social media. Remember, your company has a place in the community. Staying current helps you be knowledgeable of happenings and events that matter to your customers.
Show the Love
People are pretty good at picking up the “feeling level” of a business. Customers will keep coming back if they get a good feeling when dealing with your company. Create a workplace culture that helps employees feel ownership of their part of the operation. Give employees a chance to exercise their creativity and take responsibility. Show them what level of customer service you expect. Teach them how to talk to customers in a way that reveals information about your market. Encourage them to share what they learn. And use this information to polish the buying personas and expand the FAQ.
Customers are crucial to your business’s success, so use every technique available to truly understand them.