Customers are the live wire of any business; whether you’re providing products or services, to individuals or other businesses you’ll need customers to keep your business afloat. This is why knowing your customer is important to your business.
If your goal is to optimize the customer experience, create more engaging content, or increase sales and profits, your business needs to understand your customers really well. This knowledge goes beyond just having a set of email addresses and phone numbers.
You should be able to predict and anticipate your customer’s needs and meet them before they have the chance to even figure out what they want. After the sale, you also need to keep in touch to find about customer satisfaction and how you can improve your services.
Here are 9 questions you need to ask in order to understand your customers:
- Who Are They? – If they are individuals, how much of their demographics (age, location, work, etc) do you know? If they are businesses, how big are they? What industries are they in? What kind of business are they: private, public, multinational?
- What Makes Them Tick? – If they are individuals, what are their hobbies? If they are businesses, what is their mission? Bottom line is you need to know what drives their spending behaviour.
- What Do They Buy? – Knowing what your customers buy from you makes it easier for you to predict what benefits you can give that will match their needs.
- When Do They Buy? – Understanding your customer’s buying cycle and patterns increases your chances of making a sale and reduces revenue frustrations at your end.
- How Do They Buy? – Do they prefer to purchase independently (e.g. online) or would they rather engage a salesperson directly? Knowing the answer to this helps you position yourself to meet their needs.
- What’s Their Purchasing Power? – Having a sense of this gives you an idea of what their budget is so you can provide products and services to match their purchasing power. There’s no point providing high-income products/services to low budget customers.
- Why You? – What makes your customer(s) buy from you? The answer to this will help you determine how to retain customer loyalty. Is it quick and reliable delivery? Is it your customer service and relationship management? Is it your range of low-priced products? Identify what makes them feel good about doing business with you, and consistently work on meeting and ultimately exceeding expectations.
- What Do They Think About You? – Create avenues for open, honest feedback, so you know what to fix and what can be improved upon. If they love doing business with you, they are likely to do more business with you and bring you more customers. If they have problems with you, you will be in a better position to fix the issues if you know what they are.
- What Do They Think of Your Competition? – Knowing how your customers feel about your competitors gives you perspective on where you stand in your market. If you continuously track this, you have a good chance of staying ahead of the game.
Don’t take your customers for granted, make a conscious effort to keep engaging and more importantly, act on whatever info you’ve been given. Even if you’re not perfect, your customers will recognise that you’re making the effort.