Every day, the competition of every business or company in any industry grows and intensifies. These companies and brands are more focused on their customers. Customer satisfaction, loyal following, and feedback are vital elements for any company or brand to grow and leave its mark.
However, in order to execute this, it is crucial to know your customers. According to Teradata, only 41% of marketing executives actually use customer interaction to execute their marketing strategy. One of the best ways to get new customers is by amplifying the customer experience. This is also one of the best ways to build customer loyalty.
Despite this knowledge, organizational leaders and marketers overlook the prime element of customers before and after a particular sale. To begin with, one of the most significant barriers in growing your brand is usually the lack of a deep understanding of the customer base.
The key to running a successful business or accomplishing all of your business goals is a thorough understanding of your customers. Customer needs are the crux of any successful business, regardless if you are into B2B or B2C. Whether you’re creating engaging content, building or enhancing your customer experience, or looking for ways to increase sales, it’s crucial to know your customers better than they do.
No matter how great your product or service is, the simple truth is that no one will make a purchase, especially if they don’t want or don’t need it. Convince as much as you want to, but you won’t be able to coax or prompt anyone that this is exactly what they need or should buy what you are offering without clearly understanding what exactly your customers really desire. Once you implement this knowledge, you will be able to persuade your customers to buy from you.
Below are 10 such techniques that every brand should follow in order to know their customers better.
1. Customer Engagement
A well-developed customer experience is relevant for profits and loyalty. It can be a source of customer understanding if done right. As tools have evolved, real-time interaction with your customers has become much more accessible. Apps like Messenger have become a popular customer service channel, while other tools like Drift allow you to talk to your customers while they browse your website. Channels like these are used to gather insight about customers. Regardless of the channel, your proprietary data from interacting with your customers can help you understand them better. Start working with your customer service teams to understand your customer patterns and act accordingly based on your generated information. Beyond that, nothing beats customer development. Regularly contacting your customers can help you delve deeper to comprehend their wants, pains, and challenges. As you work on engaging your customers in the initial stages of the customer journey, think of your developing relationship as a two-way street. Encourage customers to share their thoughts and opinions by including a customer satisfaction survey in their emails.
2. Make more robust buyer personas.
Several marketers, new as well as experienced, tend to make the mistake of using generic demographics such as location, age, gender, occupation, etc., to develop their buyer personas. These data questions don’t really provide the information needed to create messages that resonate emotionally with your audience. One way to examine customer preferences is to use the Acquisitions tab in Google Analytics to see which social media, industry blogs, and professional forums your website traffic is coming from. Then, apply that information to your customers so you can figure out where and when to reach them more effectively. Additionally, acquiring keyword data is a useful way to identify the terms and descriptions that certain buyers use to describe your services. To put this language into action, incorporate these keywords into your website text, content marketing efforts, and other online interactions. Speaking the same language as your customers is a subtle way of making your current audience feel welcome.
3. Make your move
Undoubtedly, one of the most direct and valuable ways to get to know your customers is by starting a conversation with them. By meeting your consumers midway, you can understand how they connect with their peers, as you ask them valuable questions in an organic and non-intrusive way. And, if you ask the right questions, then bingo! You will get the right answers – the kind that can vastly improve your branding experience. From reviews and polls to social listening, there are many ways to connect with your customers where they are most comfortable and get to know them. But, perhaps one of the most powerful ways to have meaningful dialogues with consumers and talk your customers’ language is user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content creates credibility and trust while also providing deeper insight into your customers’ minds. Even so, it’s worth investing your time and efforts, especially if you’re targeting the Gen Z population.
4. Host a competition!
Here’s another form of user-generated content. When you show your customers active appreciation, you build trust and loyalty, leading to your customers getting in touch with your brand at all touchpoints. And, holding a contest is an effective way of doing it. This method has not been particularly well trampled, but if you are brave and become an early adopter, you can make a splash on social media while drawing a lot of attraction. By creating a unique hashtag, choosing a social media platform to conduct the competition, and giving your customers an incentive to share something, you get a wealth of information about your potential customers and thus boost your brand awareness.
5. Organize an experience or an event
Getting to know your customers and experience marketing is a very rewarding undertaking – if you get it right. Research has shown that millennials put experience above material possessions. And Gen Z places its interest in innovative gadgets and cool products in terms of its consumer philosophy. This particular cohort puts a little more emphasis on rewarding brand experiences. Suppose you host a brand event or create a tangible experience (physical or virtual). In that case, you are essentially forming a platform to share your brand value with your customers via a personal approach. You’ll also be able to understand your audience segments in ways that go beyond digital statistics and metrics. With consistent messaging, vital brand placement, and immersive innovation, it’s possible to demonstrate your brand values, gather invaluable consumer information while engaging with a wider and more connected audience.
6. Answer the reviews personally.
To better understand your consumer base, it is best to respond productively and promptly to all reviews, regardless of whether positive or negative. No matter where they’re posted, you must continue to dedicate yourself to providing personal responses to customer reviews in the public domain. In this way, you humanize your brand, demonstrate your commitment to the customer experience, and give you even more insight into the conversation. 90% of consumers confirm that online reviews have a direct influence on their purchase decisions. As a total vote of confidence, providing consistent answers are essential and opens up a wealth of new customer information.
7. Customer Analytics
From clicking a link to reading a website, every customer action provides valuable insights into customer behaviour. To view how customers are interacting with your website, you can try a user behaviour tracking tool. Tools like Google Analytics are great tools for gathering information such as time spent on the page and bounce rate. This behavioural data that you accumulate should give you enough guidance into understanding what your audience doesn’t understand, what they like and dislike, and how to create a more robust website experience. For instance, if consumers are facing difficulty navigating to a specific page, tweak the user interface for a more user-friendly experience. If there’s a page that people spend more time on than others, analyze the content on that page to see what is gaining people’s attention. And most importantly, if there’s a page with a high bounce rate, try to figure out what’s making people leave it.
8. Modify your incentives
Returning to the concept of the importance of personalization, you can offer your customers personalized deals and discounts to build brand loyalty, which in turn allows you to get to know them better. 72% of consumers only interact with personalized offers, promos, incentives, or discounts.
9. Plan for the Future
Creating a plan for future customer engagement is just as important as making a plan for right now. This puts customer experience teams in the right mood to answer to customers in stressful or challenging situations. By looking at historical behavioural data, you can see which of your company or brand features customers have found most valuable over time, and which they have not used. You can also form your content strategy, based on what you comprehend from the analysis of your most popular and most visited pages—and moving to focus on topics and formats that best solve your audience’s challenges. Draw trends in the most commonly-used functions to determine why your customers liked them. Additionally, looking at market analysis and trends will give you a good idea of what other companies in your field have already achieved, so you can design new features that explore those areas.
10. Explore your customer’s journey
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes to truly understand their unique and vibrant purchasing journey. This is made possible by an advanced technique called customer journey mapping. Companies create a detailed, graphical representation of the customer journey based on critical touchpoints – interactions between a customer and your brand before, during, or after the purchase. Once you identify failed touchpoints, create a plan to connect with those customers.
You may want to create milestones, like when an app user hasn’t signed into their account in the past three months or an avid customer suddenly stops using the product. It’s best if your customer experience team can call, write, or meet with customers directly to understand why they’re discontinued.
If you don’t have these resources, create an email marketing drop specifically focused on gaining back your customers based on specific milestones. Behaviour recording tools and stronger customer touchpoints, understanding customer behaviour has become much more manageable. These techniques are standard practices designed to inform and inspire your customer engagement efforts, but they should always be observed and altered according to what fits the need of your audience.