At the heart of every business plan destined for great success, is the ability to put oneself in the shoes of the customer. It doesn’t matter if you sell a high or low ticket product or service, you will be able to apply everything you learn in this blog to your business.
Why understand your customers
If you’re able to identify and take action on your customers desires, you’ll find yourself at a large advantage compared to if you hadn’t taken the time to become one with the customer. You can use your knowledge to convince the customer that they need your product or service, which works considerably well for your annual revenue figures and we’re pretty sure that’s in your best interests as a business owner, right?
A good way to analyse whether or not understanding your customers is worthwhile or not, just think about how easy it is to sell something to someone, who already knows that they need the product.
Acknowledging vs. Doing for your customers
It’s one thing acknowledging what your customer needs and wants, but it’s a whole new ball game actually applying that knowledge in a way that will benefit your business, so stick around because in the next section you’re going to learn all you need to know.
Acknowledging your customer
Simply being able to understand your customer is very simple, it requires that you put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself some questions.
Actioning your knowledge
With what you know about your customers, you simply create promotions, products, marketing targeted towards the needs of your customers, which, if done properly will aid the customer to make their buying decision.
Techniques to better apply your understanding of your customers
- Understand your demographic.
By dictionary definition, a demographic is the statistical study of a population, in our circumstances the population is your customer base or target market. It encompasses the study of all the following: size, structure, distribution, age. It’s important that you can identify the demographic of your business, as it will be the core to everything you do. If you can understand the exact age range, gender range and overall similar qualities of your customers then you’re going to be able to target your marketing efforts, which in turn will increase your return on investment.
- What are your customers’ pain points?
A customer pain point is a specific problem that your customer might be faced with, which is easier said than done. Some of your customers might share pain points, whilst others can be completely unique. Here’s an example of using the customers pain points to increase sales:
Example: If you’re the owner of a gym, you know that your prospective customer is looking to transform their body image or improve their overall fitness levels. You can use this fact to market an offer to them. If you think about where the customer is now, which is unfit, not in good shape and unhappy and then sell them the outcome of using your facilities, which is to be in peak body shape for the summer, you’ll increase the conversion rates of your marketing efforts.
As a business owner, marketing your own product and service, you should always use the pain points of your customer to drive your sales. Understanding what the customer has now and what they want and then positioning your service/ product to bridge the gap is how you’re going to be successful this year.
- Understand what’s expected of your market.
There are several ways to review the market for your product or service in terms of your competition and your customer.
What are your competition/ the market leaders doing?
It takes one Google search to find out what your market expects, the leaders of your market will set a standard that you will have to match or beat. Check out the website of your biggest competitor and see what standards they’ve set. Look out for their policies on shipping and returns, delivery times and packaging processes. Customers also really like a streamlined process to actually purchasing, so see if you can take any ideas from their site.
What do your customers expect from your market?
You can simply ask your customer directly, via an email campaign or via social media, exactly what they expect from businesses providing the same product/ service as you. This would be better than looking at your competition as it’s coming straight from the horse's mouth and you know that if you implement the expectations of the customer, you’ll always be in business.
- When does your customer make a purchase?
For this one, you’re going to have to look at the data your business already has which can be done through Google analytics. We’ve composed a blog which outlines how to set-up and effectively read your Google Analytics data, so check that out here.
Imagine being able to identify a time window in which your prospective customer is historically more active? This would mean that you could set-up an online marketing funnel or some paid advertisements to run in the time window you’ve identified to increase the sales. It’s not a guaranteed outcome, though history is proven to repeat itself as is human behaviour which can be proven with the study of patterns.
- How does your customer make a purchase?
It’s very obvious, but identify through what medium your customer is known to purchase through. For example: Instagram, Facebook, Website or Ebay. If you know the most successful platforms for your business, you can double down on those and improve the checkout processes, the cross selling and up-selling opportunities within those selling platforms.
How to use your customers to drive repeat sales?
Generally, you’re going to get a higher quality of customer through a referral from another customer as it’s a much more trustworthy source as opposed to the advert you have constantly running on Facebook, which more than likely will annoy your customer. If you know that customers drive customers then why aren’t you applying that knowledge to your marketing strategy?
We’re going to show you how to use your customers to drive repeat sales with some very simple techniques:
When you, yes you reading this post, have made an online purchase, do you read the reviews? The chances are you probably do - which means your customers also do. It’s important that you have lots and lots of high quality product reviews online, as this will build up the trust between you and your prospective customer.
An example of how to get more reviews would be to set-up an email marketing auto-responder, which after a customer has received delivery of your product, they receive a prompt to leave a review. If you do not receive a high percentage of customers leaving reviews then offer an incentive to leave a review. It could be, ‘Leave a review for the chance to win a £125.00 gift voucher, or 25% off certain items.’
- Referral programs
Set-up a referral program for your current customers so that they have an incentive to spread the word about your business. An example could be: Receive an order up to the value of £20.00 if you refer to a customer who purchases a basket value of over £50.00. This would essentially be like an affiliate program which you can run for a limited time, just whilst your traction increases.
Customers who are already aware of your business, and it’s goals are statistically more likely to make a purchase through your store. It’s based on this fact, that you can target ads to only visitors of your website and offer them a bundle or discount they simply can’t refuse.
In conclusion, if you apply just a handful of the above techniques, and actually apply the knowledge you gather on your customers, you should sit back and prepare for some serious traction to build up with your business.