Business is all about knowing your customers. When you know your customer, you are able to market to them in the language that they speak.
This is essential in order to make the emotional connection necessary to build the trust and loyalty that leads to repeat business.
This goal of knowing your customer is why marketers spend so much time and money conducting research on the marketplace to try and figure out what makes their customers tick.
However, a lot of companies still miss the mark when it comes to really knowing their customers. Why? Because they forget to listen.
A lot of marketers create marketing plans, buyer personas, and advertisements without actually asking questions to their existing customers. This leads to a lot of guess work and ineffective marketing tools.
You may think you know your target audience, and you may think you know your customer, but until you stop talking and start listening, you will never know for sure.
So how do you listen to a customer if they aren’t saying anything?
Getting Your Customers To Talk
You’d be surprised how readily your customers will talk if you ask them to.
Customer feedback surveys are a useful way to find out how your business is doing, but they are also a useful way to get to know your customers.
Customers reveal a lot about themselves through surveys: what demographic they fall into, how they speak, what’s important to them, and what they think of your product.
If you go the route of creating customer surveys, make sure you actually act on the feedback you receive.
This will not only make your respondents feel like they are being heard, but it will improve your brand and tailor it more to the people it is actually serving.
Knowing Your Customers To Improve Your Brand
It can be hard to let go of the image you think your company should project.
But good businesses allow their customers to determine the image and direction of the brand.
By listening to your customers and watching how they express themselves and relate to your brand, you can better understand what need you can fill and what purpose you can serve in your customer’s life.
Do yourself a favor, reach out to customers and ask them how they view your brand, and what purpose it serves in their life.
For example, you could ask, "When is the last time you used our product in your day-to-day life? How did it make your life more fun/easier/better?"
You may be shocked to see that your company offers something different than you originally intended or imagined, and that’s OK. Growing with your customers is the key to longevity as a business.
Knowing Current Customers To Win New Ones
It’s important to remember that your current customers are responsible for the vast majority of your sales, and that marketing to them is far more lucrative than trying to constantly win new business.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t win new business if you focus on listening to current customers.
On the contrary, if you respond to the feedback of your current customers, you will attract new customers as well because you will be adjusting your brand to better fit the buyer personas that it advertises to.
For example, ask your current customer, "How did you find out about us and what pushed you to purchase?"
This will give you valuable insight on what marketing tools win you real, loyal customers. Never forget that your current customers were once potential customers, and whatever you did with them worked!
Knowing Your Customers Before They Become Customers
That being said, it’s also possible to survey potential customers before they are even customers, and it is worth it to try and do this so you have as much information as possible in order to close the sale.
Pre-purchase surveys like this one on justfab.com are an effective tool to cater the buyer journey to the specific buyer.
It allows you to offer easy choices to your website visitor that quizzes them on their tastes and preferences.
This tool improves the customer experience not just because it caters the webpage to them, but it also makes them feel like you care about what they want.
Getting your customers to feel like you care about them is the goal of every customer relations manager, and one of the key ways to build up your customer retention.
Don’t hesitate to put a pre-purchase survey on your website homepage, or even in a targeted email to potential customers.
If you want to build a strong customer base, you need to know who you are selling to.
Listening to your customer, whether it’s through customer feedback surveys, pre-purchase surveys, or simply listening to reviews that come up online, is one of the best ways to know who your customer is.
Avoid the pitfall of guessing who your buyers are: allow your customers to reveal themselves to you, and cater your brand according to their tastes and values.
You will find that letting your customers express themselves through your company will make your brand stronger and make your customers fiercely loyal.