Often, we’re so busy with the day-to-day tasks of our business that we forget the reason that we’re there: for our customers! No business can thrive unless it’s fulfilling a need. This connection between business and customer goes neglected far too often.
In order to better define your brand, and determine your audience for all of your marketing efforts, it’s important for you to understand who your customer base is. Who’s buying your product or service? Why do they choose you over your competitors? What concerns do they have? Understanding this drive behind your business can help you to better define what it is you do, and to play up your strengths and connect better with your customers.
Here are some exercises that can help you better understand your customers:
Interact on social media
One of the reasons that branding is so much more important today than it used to be is due to our connectedness culture. No longer relying on middlemen, companies are able to directly interact with their customers and fans on social media. Here, people can ask questions that you can immediately answer. You can see right away which ones of your posts are getting interaction, and you can understand why customers share you with their friends. To make an effective social media interaction, follow these four steps:
- Spread your feelers wide. Try different social media platforms, do a few campaigns to gain a following and then evaluate which platform(s) are best for you, and concentrate your efforts there.
- Post consistently. It’s not a one-time process. Rather, it’s a habit. Think of it as a foreign language that’s best practiced every day in order to increase fluency and get results.
- Invite interactions. Ask questions, encourage feedback, and promote reviews. Make sure that you’re responsive to things that other people write to you.
- Once you have an active following, it’s easy on most platforms (with a business account) to see what the demographics are for your following.
Build questionnaires to send to customers
There are lots of tools you can use now to garner feedback from your customers, from SurveyMonkey to Google Forms. Assure customers that their information is confidential. Ask them questions about their relationship with your company, like what attracted them to you in the first place, and whether they’d recommend you to a friend. Let them know that you’re open to feedback and always looking to improve the customer experience. Send your questionnaire via email, share it on social media, and make it a part of your website.
Check out reviews
There are so many places where your customers can leave you reviews now. Scour the internet to see what people have already said about you. Gather more reviews by asking your customers! Some services automatically send emails or texts directing people towards your reviews and asking them to leave their own. If the review platform allows for it, respond kindly and professionally to your reviewers. Look for common threads in what people like about your business and what they dislike.
Once you get some feedback about your customer base, you can learn (1) what kind of language appeals to them the most (2) why your most popular products or services are your bestsellers (3) what you need to do to keep your best customers, and (4) which aspects of your business you can’t afford to cut back on.
All of these exercises can help you understand more about what your business looks like from the outside, which can help you better communicate with current customers, future customers, and encourage you to progress as a company in the right direction.