How to get to know your customers better

Whether you’re running a small business or a corporation, understanding your customers — who they are and what motivates them — is essential if you want to connect with them more effectively. The more you know about your customers’ needs and preferences, the better you can ensure you’re meeting those needs and appealing to your target audience.

But getting to know your customers isn’t always simple or intuitive. You’ll need to implement some specific strategies to gather the information you need.

5 strategies to get to know your customers better

You can get to know your customers better at every point of the customer experience. These five strategies to do just that are easy to implement and highly effective.

1. Segment your customer data early on

Focus on segmenting your data early on in the customer journey. The more you can divide your data and group it, the more customer insights you can gain from it.

If you’re working with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, focusing on customer segmentation will help you test out marketing campaigns and messages and even sort customers based on demographics or user behaviors. The more specific you can get, the more accurate and effective your marketing will be.

To gather user data, consider using Jotform. With Jotform, you can develop forms that range from simple to complex, including surveys, checkout forms, and newsletter subscription forms. You can automatically capture your form submission data in a spreadsheet with Jotform Tables for easy sorting.

2. Start a dialogue

Focusing on customer engagement can help you develop a personal connection with your customers, and this can lead to valuable insights. Consider reaching out to your customers on social media platforms. Respond to their comments and answer their questions to show that you appreciate them for taking the time to reach out.

You might post short surveys or polls asking customers to vote on their new favorite designs, products, or features. This can help customers feel like they’re an important part of your product development process. It also helps them build a connection with your new products.

You can also reach out in response to customer feedback and start a conversation. Responding to reviews and working to improve customer satisfaction shows that you value your buyers, and it can make them feel heard. You might learn about issues that you were unaware of, giving you a chance to correct these problems and do right by your customers.

In exchange for detailed feedback from customers who are willing to be on a market research panel, offer gift cards or other incentives. Hosting a face-to-face or virtual panel can help you connect personally with your customers. Be sure to develop strategic questions that can help you better understand them and their relationship with your product or service.

3. Create a customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs can help increase customer retention, but they can also provide you with important information on your customers’ buying habits. These loyalty programs naturally provide detailed customer data and tracking that you can use to strengthen products, product packages, and offers.

Make sure you design your loyalty program so you can track customer purchases. You might want to explore several different incentives and rewards and test them to see which ones result in the most repeat sales.

4. Use your analytics

Carefully studying your social media and Google analytics can help you understand what types of content your customers are connecting with most. Look for consistencies in the type of content that gets the most engagement. This data can better inform your content marketing and overall marketing strategy so you get better results for the time and money you invest.

5. Develop detailed buyer personas

The information that you get from your analytics can help you create highly detailed buyer personas. To build these, you might review the keywords that are bringing customers to your site, or you can track whether your traffic is coming from outlets like industry websites or forums.

Compiling all of the information that you’ve gathered into numerous buyer personas can help you get to know your customers better and then improve your marketing and product development.

The value of getting to know your customers

Getting to know your customers is an ongoing process, and it’s one that you’ll continue working on as long as you’re running your business. While it takes time and resources, it’s well worth the investment.

Having a clear, detailed understanding of who your customers are can help you better understand their pain points and what they’re looking for in a product or service. You can then ensure that you meet those needs, retaining loyal customers and acquiring new ones.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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