When it comes to running a successful business, understanding your customer can be pivotal to your success. Along with ensuring that you are looking after their existing needs, it can also help you to predict what they will need in the future too. This strategy can substantially help you in planning their customer journey and experience.
There are some key ways to source information about your customers – some obvious, others less so. The first is through market research. This may involve conducting surveys with a key set of questions that will help you build on what you’re currently doing. You may find customers are less willing to do this without there being some kind of incentive – perhaps a discount on your products or services if they complete it, or entry into a prize draw.
It’s important that you consider what information will be useful to you and how you can use it to build on your offering. Customers can answer a lot of the ‘whys’ that you might have. As surveys are very direct with the customer, use them to get as much detailed information as possible. There are other avenues of getting the basics (i.e. demographics), so utilise surveys for the rich data that you couldn’t otherwise get. Why are they purchasing? What are their incentives? Where did they hear about you? Why do they like your service? What could you do to improve it?
Another way of getting customer analytics is through store cards or loyalty schemes. For example, every time they make a purchase you offer some kind of points scheme, discount or incentive. The benefit of this is that you can keep a clear record of their purchases. This helps you to assess their buying power and spending potential. When they’re setting it up, you can ask some key questions such as age, gender, location, and so forth. Then, as they continue shopping with you or using your services, you can start to build up a picture of what your typical customer is like. This might include what age group is most active in your business, or whether you have more female or male buyers.
A newsletter can be a really great way of reaching out to customers and marketing your business to them directly. However, it isn’t just a one-way street. In sending these out, you can also find out vital information about your customers. If you send your newsletter through a programme that offers analytics, such as MailChimp, you will be able to learn more about your audience. This might include their location, the number of links they clicked, how frequently they read your communications, the type of device they use to view your information, and so on.
Your website is another great place for finding out more information about your customer – especially if you don’t have a physical location in which you can have one-to-one access with them. Through Google Analytics, you can uncover where your customers live, what time zone they’re on, what their behaviour is when on your site, what their general interests are, their demographics, the way they found you, plus much more. This helps you to build up a greater picture of who they are and how they’re interacting with you.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, social media gives you a very immediate sense of what your customer base is like. Through looking at who your followers are and which posts they are interested in, plus how they’re engaging with your content, you can start to pick up on what you need to be doing to interact and engage with your audience. There are many different applications and websites that have been developed that help you find out more about your audiences. For Instagram, Iconosquare and SimplyMeasured are both useful. Use these to learn more, and then build on this with your strategy for improving your customer journey and experience.
If you’re unsure of what to do and how often, or, you know what you should be doing but are struggling to get it all done contact Delphinium to discuss how we can help you.
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