Connecting with your customers is integral to your business’ success. Here are 7 tips for getting to know your customers better.
1. Be approachable/available
Are you approachable or intimidating? Easy or difficult to get a hold of? You’ll have an easier time getting to know your customers if you’re friendly and give them regular reminders that you want to engage. Try providing them with multiple methods of contacting you. Have a Facebook messenger chat box appear when they click on your social media profile or put a chat popup on your website. By being approachable and giving your customers plenty of opportunities to contact you, you’re more likely to satisfy your customers and learn more about them in the process of serving them.
2. Be responsive
This goes hand-in-hand with #1. When your customers contact you, engage! Reply to messages and emails in a timely, thorough manner. When you have a good response rate and response time, you build a reputation for being reliable, causing your customers to trust you and reach out to you more often. (Some social media sites like Facebook will even reward you for your responsiveness by giving you a “badge” on your profile!)
3. Be as personal as possible
It’s not business, it’s personal. We know that’s not how the saying goes, but that’s how we think it should go. When you interact with your customers, you need to connect with them on a personal level. The days of being super formal with customers are practically over (with a few exceptions). Customers want to be seen as people, with emotions, needs, and desires, just like you. So when you connect with them, treat them like human beings instead of just seeing them as customers. You’ll learn a lot about them just by genuinely listening to them and treating them as you want to be treated.
4. Pay attention to reviews
Speaking of listening, one of the best ways to get to know your customers is to pay attention when they speak up. If your customers take the time to make their voices heard on Google, Yelp, etc. you need to take time to read those reviews and reply. (The same goes for comments on social media.) Always remain courteous and professional, especially when it comes to negative reviews.
Don’t stop there, though! Jot down both positive and negative customer feedback in a Word Doc or note on your phone, so that you can be encouraged by what you’re doing well and see where you need to improve.
5. Don’t play the guessing game
This is probably the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to getting to know their customers…they think they already know them! You think you know what your clients want? Think again. Their interests and desires change, so if you’re relying on old data to determine what they want or (worse) simply guessing, you’re in for a long, frustrating road of trial and error. It’s like throwing a dart with a blindfold on, hoping you hit the bullseye. You’ll be doing good just to hit the target.
When you’re a customer, you want your interests and preferences to matter. Your customers feel the same way. They want to be known, and they want you to give them what they want. So stop guessing and just start asking! Sometimes it really is as simple as that.
Don’t waste time and effort on projects and initiatives that aren’t important to your customers. Use tools like surveys, polls, contact forms, etc. to gain insight into their preferences and feedback before you develop a game plan. You can learn so much about your customers just by asking them about themselves and observing how they interact with your brand.
7. Look at the data
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get into the mind of your customers? That magic already exists: it’s called data, analytics, and metrics. As a business owner, you have a wealth of tools at your fingertips that allow you to see how and when your customers are engaging with your content. You can learn a lot about your customers just by looking at their habits when browsing your website or which posts they click on social media.