Hands up if you know everything there is to know about your customers: what they think of your service or products, what they think you could do better or offer them in the future.
If you answered ‘yes’ you’re a very rare breed indeed – a company that’s really in touch with its audience. And the chances are that your insights are helping your business at virtually every level, because more often than not, the most effective strategies are about connecting effectively with customers and prospects, to plug the leaks in sales, marketing, and product creation systems.
But, assuming you are one of the vast majority don’t know all there is to know about their customers, how do you actually go about it? Here are 3 simple actions you can start today.
1. Give your prospects proof
Giving your prospects/site visitors proof that your products or services work is a powerful but very easy way to improve your marketing.
Aim to offer a good range of testimonials and case studies, plus (if possible) real statistical data showing that a high percentage of your customers are satisfied, and/or would recommend you. To do this you need a system for gathering these on a regular basis because without a system, it won’t happen. But that system can be very simple: a satisfaction survey – sent to all new clients for example – enables you to build all three forms of proof easily and inexpensively. An awful lot of companies fail to do this, giving you a big opportunity to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
2. Have a conversation with them
If you were selling face to face, you’d be asking the person in front of you about themselves, what decided them to contact you, what they wanted you to do or solve. That’s the conversation you need to get into with visitors to your website or telephone enquirers. Because once you know what problem brought them to you, you can offer specific information about how you can solve it – and the more specific your follow-up message, the more effective it will be.
An online quiz that automates the process of getting to know prospects is one way of getting to know them better. Knowing who they are, which ones decide to buy from you, and why, also enables you to laser-target your marketing—to find more prospects like the ones who are already buying from you – more simple steps that can increase your revenue.
3. Keep them coming
Do you know what product or service your customers want next? What elements to include in that product, how they want the product or service delivered, what they’ll pay, when they’re satisfied with your products or services and when they’re not? If you don’t, you’re missing another opportunity to increase your revenue. The added benefit of doing so is the power of being able to say in your marketing, “You told us you wanted this, so we created it for you.” They’ll feel invested in your company and commit to its success.
Starting a conversation through surveys and quizzes doesn’t mean you should send out a survey that virtually screams, “Give me the information I need to make more money.” Your surveys and quizzes need to build a connection with your customers and prospects instead of destroying those relationships—as far too many surveys do.
How do you build that connection?
- First, show your audience “what’s in it for them.” Tell them that you’ll put the information to work for them by creating products they want and improving your customer service.
- Second, give them an incentive. Offer them a free, practical guide or a chance to win a gift card, in exchange for feedback. Your clients or customers will feel much more valued and invested—and you’ll get far better response to your surveys.
- Third, show them you’re listening. Report back them on the survey results. Show them how you’ve acted upon those results, whether it’s fixing a problem in your customer service that they identified or planning a new service offering.
- Fourth, do a good survey. Begin with a friendly introduction. Craft your questions carefully and make them about the customer or client, not about you.
Starting just one of the actions above can make a big difference to the effectiveness of your business, so think what doing all 3 could do.