Business tips: Knowing what your customer wants

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The increase in digital business systems has opened up forensic ways of understanding your customer base. That’s a huge bonus when you’re aiming to build better connections, relationships and experiences with your audience.
Knowing what your customer wants is a fundamental piece of knowledge for any successful business to get to grips with. And when you’re running a modern, digital business there’s an overwhelming wealth of customer and sales data and analytics at your disposal – making it easier than ever to dig down into the needs and habits of your end user.

Detailed CRM records and customer notes

A CRM system becomes the heart of your customer management, business development and marketing activity, allowing you to log activity, keep notes and record progress throughout the sales pipeline.

The more information you have about your valued customers, the more you can do to meet their needs and deliver the perfect customer experience. And by maximising your use of this customer data, you can tightly focus your marketing campaigns and do more to make every customer feel understood, valued and (most importantly) satisfied.

Drilled-down sales records

Keeping tabs on your sales activity is central to any business model. In an ideal world, you want regular, repeatable sales from a loyal customer base. But sales activity can be hard to predict, especially when you’re setting ambitious sales targets for your team to hit.

Having detailed sales records and data at your fingertips has two key benefits:

  • You know how sales have fared in the past
  • You know how sales may pan out in the future

Being able to run forecasts, based on your historic sales data gives you a stable foundation on which to build your future sales targets. It’s a solid projection, based on real business data. But this data also gives you an encyclopaedic overview of what your customers have been buying.

This sales data helps you understand:

  • Which products/services your customers want to spend their money on
  • Which specific products/services are failing to convert
  • Which points in the year will have peaks and troughs in sales
  • When it’s the right time to invest in more sales and marketing activity

This is all gold dust when it comes to planning out your strategy, assigning your sales and marketing resources and building engagement with your core audiences.

Marketing analytics and customer touch points

Marketing is a vital part of getting your brand message out into the world. Today’s digital marketing and email platforms make it easier than ever to see the results and analytics from your marketing campaign and to answer meaningful questions about the outcomes:

  • How many customers clicked through from your call-to-action?
  • How many click-throughs were converted into sales?
  • How many views did your latest blog post get?
  • Who opened your latest email campaign?
  • Which one of your customer segments is most engaged?

With the marketing analytics that digital systems can provide, you know the answers to all these questions. That’s incredibly helpful when working out which campaigns delivered a good return-on-investment (ROI), which customer groups are most engaged and where your marketing is hitting the mark (or not, as the case may be).

Social media interactions and feedback

Social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok, give your business a cheap and effective way of getting your brand messages out to a wider audience. Social media is a two-way communication channel. It’s a conduit for your customers and followers to message you, ask questions and give you feedback – and in that sense, it’s a vital way of understanding your customers’ needs.

As you scale and grow, an increased focus on social media will be vital. Hiring a social media manager, or working with a social media agency, helps you broaden out your social activity and really engage with your followers. Reply to queries, placate frustrated customers and share your latest news and updates. If you can be present and engaging in the social space, that’s going to help you cement your bond with these valued customers.

Online customer feedback and star ratings

The acid test of your customer experience is simple: are your customers happy? Satisfied and happy customers become amazing advocates for your brand. But, equally, disgruntled and unhappy customers can quickly undo the good work you’ve done in building a brand.

In the online age, bad news spreads incredibly quickly, and customer feedback, reviews and trust scores are a vital part of your brand’s equity. A series of terrible reviews for your cafe on a platform like TripAdviser can cause serious damage. So, it’s important that you engage with these reviews, run customer surveys and listen carefully to any customer feedback.

Ultimately, delighting your customer is your key aim as a business owner. Using your ears and listening to the feedback you get is integral to understanding what your customers want.

Hitting your growth targets, is far easier when you know the needs of your customers and can accurately target your sales, marketing and social activity.

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