Every third Thursday of the quarter is Get to Know Your Customers Day, a day dedicated to reminding businesses they should better understand who their customers are and what they need. While you may question the need for such a frequent reminder, technology advancements and service enhancements cause customer expectations to constantly evolve.
In fact, a Salesforce study found that 76% of customers report it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere in order to discover an experience that matches their expectations. Even more, 92% of consumers say they would stop purchasing from a brand altogether after three or fewer bad customer service experiences (Gladly). If your brand isn’t keeping up with their demands, customers will likely jump ship to a company that will meet them.
So how well do you know your customers and their needs?
Here are a few considerations for determining your customers’ needs and wants.
1. Meet customers where they are.
With dozens of popular social media platforms to choose from, your brand can’t (and shouldn’t) be on them all. Research where your current or desired audience is – whether online or offline – and zone in on those mediums.
For instance, there’s no need to have a Snapchat or a TikTok account for your brand if you’re targeting baby boomers. Instead, your brand would want to focus more of your marketing efforts on Facebook and perhaps Twitter.
By doing your research to get to know your customers and where they spend their time, your brand can save time, energy and money building effective campaigns that meet your customers’ expectations.
2. Be responsive.
As obvious as this tip sounds, there is still always so much room for improvement in this arena, as a consumer trends study found that 66% of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and 40% expect a response within the hour (Vonage).
To improve your brand’s responsiveness, considering implementing an omni-channel approach. As a precaution, however, this strategic approach does not mean you must be on all channels.
Instead, implementing an omni-channel approach refers to creating a seamless experience between all of the communications platforms your brand is on. For instance, if someone tries to purchase a product on your brand’s Facebook account and has a question, are you able to seamlessly transfer the inquiry to your website, email, or another platform without making the customer repeat his/her question?
By focusing on this approach, your brand can improve its responsiveness greatly and help customers feel valued and heard by your customer service representatives.
3. Ask for feedback.
The best way to better get to know your customers is by simply asking them!
- How was their last experience with your brand?
- How was the customer service they received?
- What do they think of the quality of your product or service?
- Would they recommend your brand to friends and family? Why or why not?
By sending a survey with open-ended questions soon after a purchase or interaction with your brand, you can better understand a customer’s experience and gain stronger insights into how to better serve customers in the future.
4. Get social.
In addition to making communications with current and potential customers easier, social media platforms offer a great opportunity to discover what people are saying about your brand. Not only can you see what reviews people leave on your accounts, but social media monitoring services also allow brands to quickly and easily view any brand mentions – even if your brand is not properly tagged.
By viewing these mentions, your brand can determine the overall customer sentiment of your products and services. Then, if your brand responds to these mentions, you can help make people feel seen and noticed, connecting them to your brand through a social community. A simple “Thank you” or like of a positive comment can do the trick.
For negative comments, it is a best practice to acknowledge their concerns/experiences and ask them to direct message your brand to discuss the situation further. By taking the conversation offline, this allows the situation on the public platform to not escalate while allowing you to resolve the situation individually with more support, a discount or a similar resolution.
5. Tell customers what to expect.
With hundreds and thousands of competitors offering similar products and services as your brand, you can differentiate your company from the crowd by clearly setting your customers’ expectations based on the research you gathered to get to know your customers better.
Once these expectations are set through marketing efforts such as website updates, social media posts and email blasts, it is then imperative that your brand follows through and meets – or exceeds – those expectations. So long as your customers know what to expect from your brand and are seeing that happen, their experiences will be perceived as better than if you didn’t meet the expectations customers set for your brand on their own.
It is essential to note that while setting your expectations, your brand needs to ensure customers will not be confused by your messaging.
A confused individual is a missed opportunity for a new customer.
If at any point someone is confused while reading about your products and services, the customer will be very likely to leave and never make a purchase. Clearly set your expectations, and follow through for your customers.
With continual technology advancements and service enhancements in this day and age, getting to know your customers on a consistent basis is essential. Every third Thursday of the quarter is Get to Know your Customers Day, reminding brands to do their research to better understand who their customers are and how their expectations are shifting.
A few ways to determine your customers’ expectations include meeting your customers on the social media platforms and other communications mediums they are on, being responsive by implementing an omni-channel approach, and directly asking for feedback after a customer has interacted with your brand. You can also review what customers are saying about your brand through social media monitoring tools and stand out from your competitors by clearly setting customers’ expectations through updated and focused marketing efforts.
For help researching who your customers are and where they spend their time, contact our team at SeeLevel HX. Through various mystery shopping programs, our market research experts and our database of 792,000 mystery shoppers can support your efforts to better get to know your customers. Contact us online or email us here for a free consultation to discuss your brands’ needs.