Sometimes, as a business owner, you get so focused on the profits at the end of the sale day that you often forget to think about your customers. You fail to understand what is drawing the customer to your products and services. You also lose sight on what the person values about your company as you wonder how to retain them as a long-time customer.
The need to learn as much as you can about your customers is vital if you are focused on a more customer-centric approach with your business. Here are 6 methods to use to learn as much as you can about your customers so you can offer a better experience for them when they deal with your business.
Look at Past Purchase Behavior
Past purchase behavior offers you the hard data on what drew your customer to make purchases in the past. You learn about what they purchased, the amounts they purchased, and the frequency of their purchases that can be used as historical data. Then you can go over your business operations while using this analytical data to see when sales improved based on certain marketing promotions you ran during a certain period, or other factors that could have impacted customer purchase behavior.
Conduct Online Surveys
Survey information is a vital look into what your customers think about your sales department, customer service personnel, products and delivery schedule. You may have better luck with online surveys versus phone or mail surveys. Fewer people want their time held up by answering questions on the phone. Also, you can get this online survey information faster than you would with a mail-in survey that may get lost in transit.
Invest in Focus Groups
A company in a niche industry with a special target audience can gain benefits by creating focus groups. Focus groups allow you to pick out your main demographic of customers to gain a further understanding of their needs and values. You can ask in-depth questions on a variety of business-related services, glean opinions on advertising tactics, and find out how customers feel about new product lines that have been introduced.
Gather Complaint Research
While a business owner doesn’t like getting complaints, hearing what makes customers unhappy can allow you to learn more about them. Sitting in and listening to a customer service call allows you to hear the customer firsthand without interrupting them to defend your business practices. You learn to listen to what the customer is feeling and thinking, as well as take note on the number of similar complaints other customers have about your business that can further pinpoint issues. You could even use a third party direct response call center hotline to give your customers an easy way to provide valuable feedback.
Conduct Phone Follow-ups
Phone follow-ups right after a person makes a purchase or your customer service representatives solve a problem can allow you to learn more about your customers. Keep in mind that a phone follow-up is much different than a survey, as you may limit it to only a few important questions on what your customers think about your sales department or customer service representatives. By having customers share their experiences, you can gain more clarity on why they contacted your business and what you can do to improve the business relationship you have with them.
Send Feedback Emails
Feedback emails are a great way to gain more information about your customers based on how they previously worked with your business. You can ask a customer to leave a review for your product, provide a testimonial about your business, or simply answer a few questions. You can send different types of feedback emails requesting additional information such as asking whether the customer had a good user-friendly experience when navigating your website and what your business could do in the near feature to increase their satisfaction.
Learning more about your customers can ensure that you are truly satisfying their needs and can give you additional insight on what customers want from your business. You may use several different techniques to gain a more thorough understanding about your customers so you can develop the right improvements to your operations.