Get To Know Your Customers

No matter what you do, understanding your customers is crucial for any business to thrive. You have to have a complete understanding of who they are, what business they are in and what it takes for them to be successful. In short you have to see things from their perspective.

Too often we assume to know who your customers are and what they want, but without the proper research, the proper vetting we can be wrong, and being wrong can really send us on the wrong path when it comes to accurately providing them exactly what it is they need from us, our products, and our services.

Over the years you have come up with some serious ways to dig into and find out who your customers are and most importantly what they need. Here are eleven ways to not only help you gather pertinent information about your current and prospective customers but also get a true and clear perspective of what their market is like, what it takes for them to be successful in their marketplace and the contribution you can make to them being successful.

Conduct Surveys: Surveys are an effective way to directly ask your customers about their preferences, needs, and feedback. Utilize online survey tools or conduct in-person surveys to gather valuable insights. It’s as simple as that…just ask them. By surveys you can not only find out what they need but, and here is the fun part, get some insight into what they think of you and your company. To be clear here I am talking about real one-to-one surveys where you actually talk to your individual customers. Not a mass survey where you are sending out some form to hundreds of companies.

Analyze Social Media: Monitor social media platforms where your customers are active. Analyzing their posts, comments, and interactions can provide valuable information about their interests, opinions, and behaviors. This is an easy way to follow their company.

Utilize Customer Feedback: Actively seek and analyze feedback from your customers. Whether it’s through customer support interactions, reviews, or feedback forms, pay attention to what your customers are saying about your products or services. 

Leverage Analytics Tools: Use analytics tools to track customer behavior on your website or app. Analyzing metrics such as page views, click-through rates, and conversion rates can provide insights into customer preferences and actions. I actually know of companies that are using these tools to set up a very active lead generative process. Monitoring who visits your web site and how long they look at specific pages is a great way to see who they are and what they are interested in and then enter them into the sales funnel.

Segment Your Audience: Divide your customers into different segments based on demographics, psychographics, or purchase behavior. This allows you to tailor your marketing efforts and product offerings to specific customer groups. This is especially important when selling specific technologies and products. As well as market segments. Like in our electronics business for example, selling to the defense aerospace department is very different from selling to the computer market, or the medical market and you need to develop customized sales and marketing plans for each segment is critical.

Monitor Competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors and their interactions with customers. Analyze their marketing strategies, customer reviews, and social media presence to identify trends and opportunities in the market. Check out what they are doing. You can also figure out what works for them and what does not. Referring to the quote I stole from Steve Jobs who stole it from Picasso, “Great Artists Steal.”

Attend Industry Events: Participate in industry events, conferences, and trade shows where your target customers are likely to be present. Networking with attendees and engaging in discussions can provide valuable insights into industry trends and customer preferences. Many of these events will also have companies presenting white papers that will be open to all event attendees for free. This is a great way to find out about your potential customers, your competitors and what is going on in your industry as a whole.

Create Buyer Personas: Develop detailed buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Use market research, customer data, and insights gathered from the above methods to create personas that help you better understand and target your audience. I love this. Make your customer real. Make your buyer a real person with likes and dislikes and preferences. 

Create an Ideal customer: This is always my personal favorite. Create a profile of who your ideal target customer is based on your current list of customers. From this profile create a filter for finding the right customers in directories and on Linkedin and other social media platforms.

By employing these tips, you can gather comprehensive information about your customers and use it to improve your products, services, and marketing strategies. Remember that understanding your customers is an ongoing process, so continue to gather feedback and adapt your approach accordingly. This will also be time well spent, and the best part right now is that not many of your competitors are taking the time and exerting the effort to do these things, thus giving you a distinct advantage. It’s only common sense.