How well do you know your customers?
You need your customers more than they need you. So getting to know your customer; continuing to understand them; and doing this better than any of your competitors should be your top priority.
If you have been in business for a number of years, there is a good chance that you do know your customer pretty well.
But when was the last time you really thought about your customers?
When was the last time that you challenged yourself (and your team) to talk about what motivates your buyer to buy? Discussed their goals and values and how these relate to your business?
When did you stop and think about your customers’ challenges, and what you can do to help them overcome these?
How long is it since you analysed the buying process (from the moment they realise they need your product/service until the point that they are so impressed with what you do that they recommend you to their friends and colleagues)? If you did this, what would you find? What are the sticking points and what can you do to help your customer through?
… and when did you last stop to think about the language and words that your customer uses and match it to the ones that you are using in your communications?
If your answer to any of these questions was more than 12 months, or worse, never, then put ‘understand my customer’ at the very top of your list of things to do.
This is how you earn the hearts and minds of your ideal customers. This is how you out-smart the competition.
And please don’t think that this activity is best completed with by you, a pen and a notepad. Just imagine the level of conversation you would have if you included the customer service team/receptionist/shop assistant in this process. Frequently, they are after-all the first point of contact of the people you are talking about. Maybe your accounts team who deal with payments? And, what about talking to some customers themselves? They hold the greatest insight and there is a good chance that they will love you valuing their opinion.
The result of getting to know your customer?
I have just been through this exercise with a couple of clients. The results are clear to see…
- A re-focus of time and money away from one customer segment, that drained resource, towards another which is worth double in life-time sales.
- The simplification of a pricing policy to make it more ‘customer-friendly’
- Changing messaging from ‘why you should buy this product from me’ to ‘how your will life will be better with this product’
- So many creative ideas that a content plan that almost wrote itself!
- Redesigning an office space: layout, furniture, pictures to accurately reflect the values of the business.
So, when thinking about the tasks for the week ahead, why not put ‘understanding my customer’ at the top of your ‘to do list’. Who knows where it may lead?