Understanding customers is an essential element to running a successful business. This requires a multi-pronged approach to ensure you are getting a complete picture of your target clientele. You can gain this insight through some simple methods, and use that knowledge to build credibility with your customers.
Stand in the Customer's Shoes
To truly understand your clients, you must spend some time standing in their shoes. If you were that customer seeking your service or product, what would you expect from the company? Customers like to think of themselves as smart shoppers, so what additional benefits or incentives do you offer that would make them think selecting your business is the intelligent choice? The answers to these questions can help you view your business from the perspective of your clients and understand how to win their loyalty and trust.
Ask About Your Clients' Needs
Ask questions of clients to help understand what they are looking for. Consider how your products and services can solve their problems, and share that information with them. If enough of your customers request an offering you don't currently provide, you may want to consider if and how you can best meet that need in the future.
Pay Attention to Purchasing Trends
Use your sales system to record and organize customer data to help you understand what clients love most about your popular products. Focus on what your clients are requesting to help develop, refine and market relevant products and services. Track seasonal trends to help determine whether specific offerings are particularly good fits during specific times of the year and capitalize on that information. Make sure that you have sufficient inventory on hand to address fluctuating demand so you don't lose sales while awaiting shipments.
Understand Your Client’s Business
If you are selling products businesses-to-business, you must understand your clients' companies almost as well as your own. This information is vital to presenting them with products and services that are tailored to their needs. Business executives are not interested in mass-marketing materials or flashy presentations, they want to know how you can provide a solution to their specific issues or opportunities. Only by having an expert understanding of their needs can you effectively differentiate yourself and your products from the competition.
Study Consumer Feedback
One of the easiest ways to understand your clients is to pay attention to consumer feedback. By simply asking customers what they think about your business, you can gain incredible insight on their desires that you can use to your advantage. Make sure to communicate regularly with them using an email subscriber list, and encourage them to leave feedback.
Build an Online Social Media Presence
Almost every successful modern company understands the importance of building a social media presence to gain a better understanding of its customers. Social media opens the lines of communication in both directions. Pay attention to the comments that people post to gain further insight into what your target population is interested in and raving about.
Every business must evolve to meet the changing needs and desires of clients. You can understand your clients better using simple methods to gain insight into their motivations. Taking advantage of that knowledge is the key to helping your business thrive.
Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net