FridayFive: Do You Really Know Your Customers (Part 2)?
“In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want.“ – Alice MacDougall
A couple of weeks ago I covered 5 steps that can help you connect with your customers on a closer more personal level, simply by aiming all of your marketing at an Ideal Customer Persona. Talking to one person as if real. This techniques works surprisingly well, as you are then talking naturally to your customer instead of marketing to your general market.
Within that previous post there were topics that deserve a more detailed explanation. One key topic being ‘What is the biggest problem that your customer has?‘
This is the most important factor you can ever know about your customer. It seems like common sense stuff, but we often get lost in what we want for the business, rather than focusing the expansion of our business on solving our customers problems.
Here are 5 ways to discover exactly what your customers want from you:
- Ask Them! Sometimes it’s just as simple as picking up the phone and talking to them. A planned project, working through your customer list with a set of good open questions, will give you more than any market research company can ever do for you. And at a fraction of the cost.
- Plan a Focus Group. Invite some of your customers to spend a couple of hours with you. 8 to 10 customers meeting for 2 hours is optimal for this sort of discussion. Pay travel costs and lunch as a thankyou. You’ll be surprised how many are willing, and the insight you’ll get will be detailed and fascinating.
- ‘Go to where your customers gather’. Go straight to where your customers are and find out what they discuss, what their latest hot topics are. It can be as simple as spending a few hours in your local shopping center, visiting the local child care centers or going to the builders yard.
- Visit Internet Forums Frequently. It’s like point 3, but in the comfort of your own office. No matter what business you are in, I’m sure there will be a forum on the internet where your Ideal Customers hangout. Get involved, answer questions so you get known as an ‘authority’ in the forum, and then start asking questions.
- Competition Espionage. If you have a competing company that is expanding fast, check out their website. Check for new products and what type of customer they are targeting. Join their newsletter. Find out which keywords they are focusing on in the Search Engines. It can sometimes be obvious by the content on their webpages (or we have tools to do sophisticated analysis for you).
We live in the Information Age and knowledge is now more powerful than ever, but it often boils down to the simplest of things. Your customers probably have a common concern about your products or services, or may even be searching for a product that you could easily deliver to them, but you’ll never know until you ask. Selling a new product to your existing customers, designed by your customers, is about the easiest sell you’ll every make. And could double your profits overnight. What’s more, if you don’t deliver it, they’ll find it somewhere else.