Any business relies on several elements to make it successful. It’s all about the right people, digital presence, relevant services or products, finances, and effective processes. Yet, the target audience is always in the company’s spotlight. A customer is always right because, without one, you won’t make it far.
As a marketing student, you know a thing or two about your target audience and business organization. You may have read countless psychology reports and studies on what makes your audience tick. Yet, it’s important to look outside the theoretical framework and search for answers in real-life cases.
Understanding your customer is a key skill that can help you become a better marketing specialist. When you deal with a large amount of homework and ask “how to write my essay perfectly,” a good marketing specialist will find the answer to this question within a second. You can draw inspiration from your own experiences as a customer and then translate them to other people’s experiences. It’s all about seeing through someone’s eyes and knowing what they need to solve their problems.
Use the right tools and data
Many marketing professionals are acquainted with the importance of digital tools. Data collection and its analysis are inseparable parts of your everyday assessment. Knowing your customer’s age, location, and preferred social media can change your perspective on what they think.
Indeed, you don’t need to use all the means you can find to access the information, but it’s important to look at key aspects of your customer journey. Yet, it’s not enough just to focus on a few metrics that give you valuable business insights. For instance, you can track the time when your customers are most engaged with your platform to predict what is the best time to introduce something new. It allows you to personalize your marketing strategy and increase customer engagement.
Imagine you are the customer
One of the best ways to prevent miscommunication beforehand is to take the role of your typical customer. You might think it would be easier to test a product or service on a focus group, which can give you relevant insights. Yet, when you interact with your product, it is a completely different thing. You easily spot all pitfalls and areas to improve you won’t get from other people.
It’s also a perfect way to understand your business better. When you are writing a business plan, you calculate all the risks and aspects crucial for your company to operate. Including such aspects as customer perspective can give you inspiration.
Test your customer journey from the moment they search for a product to receiving your newsletters. Don’t be afraid to be critical and picky when it comes to playing the role of the customer. Try different roles and personalities to explore scenarios where your customer might experience some problems. After all, it’s a fun way to approach understanding your customers and what they really need.
Use appropriate survey tools
A survey is a perfect opportunity to learn your customer’s opinions regarding the aspects you want to know. Yet, you need to be quite careful with this tool. Don’t send too many detailed surveys or bother your customers every day with questions they might not have time to answer. There are plenty of digital survey solutions that can automate your surveys and make them helpful.
Always test your surveys before implementation. You need to focus only on one aspect when you ask your customers a question. Try to avoid making your questions way too complex or bulky.
Encourage your customers to provide feedback
Feedback is an essential part of customer communication. The opportunity to leave a review or comments is a little bit different from internal surveys. It covers not only people who interacted with your product but also those who changed their minds halfway due to various reasons.
The main reason why people may not leave feedback is that your review submission is hard to spot on the website. You might want to create an easy tool for customers to communicate with you directly. It’s easy to miss a question on a social media platform or anywhere else other than your platform.
Always respond to your customer reviews, good or bad
Interacting with your customer’s ideas and comments can provide you an opportunity to level up your brand communication and image. It’s a common mistake to think that you only need to reply to positive comments. Another common mistake is trying to reach out to unhappy customers privately. Don’t be afraid to provide your honest response and offer help.
What’s most important is you shouldn’t ignore negative reviews. Leaving negative reviews without an answer signals that you are not ready to establish a dialog and change for your audience. You may have heard the advice to learn from others’ mistakes, but your own cases will be an invaluable opportunity to never repeat them again. Try to understand where your customers come from, let them vent, and respect their time.
Personalize your communication
Your tone and voice are crucial when you want to understand your customer. It’s a common practice to use templates and pre-written answers for different scenarios, but it barely helps. People don’t tend to engage in such conversations and perceive them as automatic and cold. When you connect with your customers on a personal level, it helps them to open up and express what they want and need.
Always test your communication strategy. Take a step back and think about how you would like to speak with a brand of your interest and what you evaluate as top-tier communication. Research your niche and explore all keywords and strategies that help people to open up. There’s a fine balance between making it friendly and welcoming and uncomfortable and way out there.
Always analyze competitors
It’s a normal practice to have your finger on the pulse of the competitors’ plans. Most often, specialists look at products themselves, but the key to success lies in every visible action competitors do. You would want to dig something from their past experience and the current strategies they implement. It helps you to understand what your customers appreciate in the product or service and what makes them choose one brand over another.
Your customers are people, not numbers
As soon as you take a little bit more of a sociological approach to the problem of customer satisfaction, you will realize it’s more interesting than just big data. Of course, it’s impossible to know everyone’s story, but everyone shares similar desires and needs. Everyone wants to be heard and seen. Focus on what makes everyone feel appreciated and understood, and you will hold the key to your customer’s loyalty.
Many people feel misunderstood by businesses. This feeling comes from a number of negative experiences and poor strategies when a company tries to fit every customer into one box. You are more likely to achieve success when you recognize that behind each purchase, there’s a story.
When you understand the language your customer speaks, you foster loyalty and retention. It can be a hard journey of trials and errors, but there’s no easy way to success. The rest will rely on your ability to maintain positive communication and listen to the reviews.