If you want to help someone, you need to understand them, as well as their needs and problems. The same goes for businesses and their customers. Understanding customers is necessary if you want to give them good service or products. Also, you need to treat them properly, so that they feel appreciated and valued, but if you want to provide great customer care, you need to know them so well that you can anticipate their needs and thereby exceed their expectations. As you can see, the key is to understand your customers well.There are many ways in which you can do that and we’re going to tackle just a few most important and efficient ones. So, here they are, in no particular order.
Imagine yourself as a customer
One of the best ideas is to pretend you are a customer who has or wishes to have contact with your business. What would you expect to find and how do you expect the business to respond? Think about the website, phone calls, emails, meetings, visits and deliverables. If, for example, the premises look untidy or the receptionist is unfriendly, would you like to do business with the institution? If your emails are not answered in a timely manner or the company’s website is lacking important information or is difficult to navigate, would you trust such an enterprise to deliver excellent products or services? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “no”. You need to ask yourself such questions before you devise a strategy to improve your customer care and learn more about the people who like your offer. If you run a small business, for example, you should consider offering a personal service. Remember a customer’s name and recall your last conversation with them. That will make them happy and appreciated, as well as likely to recommend you to their family and friends.
Collect and process data
You need to have a database or customer relationship management system in place, which will hold valuable information about your customers and help you understand their needs. The information on your customers can tell you a lot about patterns in your customers’ behaviour, such as when they make order, what is the most popular product or service, or how much money they spend. The data you hold should also reveal how quickly you’re responding to orders or delivering goods. Having a CRM system is great, because it allows to use information about your customer behaviour and preferences to boost customer satisfaction and retention. If you use the data properly, you’ll be able to identify customer needs better and up-sell and cross-sell, thus increasing your profit.
Ask for feedback
There are still companies that have never conducted a proper customer satisfaction survey. In failing to do that, they’ve missed out on an opportunity to have a much better understanding of their customers’ needs and wishes. On the other hand, there are companies that have conducted such surveys, but never reacted to them, i.e. they didn’t make any changes based on the comments they received, which is also wrong. Basically, you need to be ready to ask for feedback and be prepared to make changes.
Help your business learn
The more we know, the better we can provide help. That’s why you shouldn’t only focus on how to collect and process the data about your customers. You also need to help your business develop as an organization. Just like you want your employees to develop professionally or expect your customers to change their habits and behaviour, you need to have similar expectations from your business. It needs to learn and develop constantly. Most organizations try to keep up with changing customer needs and demands, but when efficiency and engagement are low, results can be inconsistent. Experts providing efficient agility consulting services insist that organizations should foster an environment of communication and collaboration, among other things, and develop flexibility to adapt to change. This is particularly important when it comes to customer care, because it changes constantly and your enterprise needs to be ready to accept those changes and build on them.
Identify important customer segments
Another way to learn more about your customers is to conduct a customer analysis and identify segments that share common characteristics. These might include demographic factors, such as age, gender, education, income, occupation or values. This information will provide invaluable insight into who your customers are and what they want.
Assess customers’ motivation
Trying to figure out what job the customer is trying to get done is a challenge, but the answer can reveal the frustrations and desires that drive purchases. If you find a job not done well, for example when a customer’s key criterion is not met or when there are barriers constraining consumption, you can start identifying opportunities for business innovation and expansion. Are they opting for lower-cost brands that are “good enough”? If so, what portion of customers are motivated by the quality/price ratio? These types of data-driven insights can be useful for future product development and marketing strategies.
See what your competitors are doing
It may seem counterintuitive, but you might learn something about your customers by observing and analyzing what your competitors are doing. When you know what they do and what their customers want, you’ll see what makes you and your customers different. Focus on the things you’re doing differently and how that reflects on your customers. Is it the level of personal service, price or something else? When you identify your unique selling proposition, consider how you can improve it even more. Alternatively, think about whether you could introduce another thing that no-one else is doing or whether you can do something much better than your competitors. How your customers respond to your actions will tell you a lot about them, as well.
These are just some things you need to know when it comes to understanding your customers and tips on how to get correct and relevant information regarding their habits, needs and expectations. As you can see, such an insight is extremely valuable and can help you really take your business to the next level, which means you need to do whatever you can to get to know your customers better.