From the smallest business to the largest multinational enterprise, no firm can exist and be profitable without its customers. But small businesses may be even more reliant on their customers, and a single misstep could spell disaster.
As a business owner, you have a vested interest in pleasing your customers, and that starts with knowing who they are and what they want. The more you know about your customers, from their demographic profiles to their geographic locations, the more effective your marketing efforts can be. Here are 10 smart tips business owners can use to increase their customer knowledge and improve their customer service.
1) Spark feedback with targeted incentive.
Handing a survey to the customer at the point of purchase is one way to solicit feedback, but it may not be the most effective strategy. If you want to gather feedback, offering a small incentive could increase both interest and honesty.
2) Reward your best customers.
Studies show that 80% of small business revenue can come from just 20% of customers. Identifying who those profitable customers are and making a special effort to keep them happy could pay off big time.
3) Avoid making assumptions about who your customers.
You may think you know the type of customers who are most likely to buy your products but making assumptions could be costly. Spend the time to find out who your customers really are and how they are using your products. According to Forbes, “even though 84% of consumers say the experience a brand creates is just as important as the product or service it sells, only 30% of brands use customer data to create more relevant experiences.”
4) Experiment with product add-ons and enhancements.
The best businesses do not rest on their laurels; they continue to make improvements and enhance the quality of the products and services they offer. Experimenting with a number of variations, from different colors and sizes to new delivery methods, could boost your profits and enhance customer satisfaction.
5) Research customer interests.
You know your customers are interested in your products; they are customers after all. But what do you know about their other interests, and how can you harness that information to boost your business even more?
6) Take a holistic approach to customer data.
It is tempting to focus on a single data point, but customer analysis is much more complicated than that. Taking a holistic approach to customer analysis and data gathering will be far more effective in the long run. Embrace data challenges to better connect with customers and personalize their experiences.
7) Take advantage of online tools.
The analytical tools built into your website and other online properties are treasure troves of data, so make the most of them. Learn how to use those tools and seek out additional ones whenever and wherever you can.
8) Make customer engagement a priority.
From social media and blogs to face to face contact at the point of purchase, there are many ways to engage with your customers. Making this kind of real-world and online engagement a priority will be good for your business and the bottom line.
9) Make the buying process as convenient as possible.
Convenience is the watchword in business these days, so look for ways to simplify the buying process and remove friction whenever possible. The easier it is for customers to buy, the better off you will be.
10) Keep learning.
As a small business owner, you can never know too much about your customers. Even if you think your job is done, you need to keep learning and growing.
Customer analysis is a powerful tool for any small business owner. If you do not know who your customers are or what they want, achieving and maintaining profitability will always be a challenge. The 10 customer analysis tips listed above can help you get to know your customers on a deeper level, and that will be good for your business and your brand.