Studies point out that consumers value the companies that prioritize customer service, sell quality products, and have a transparent business policy. From a marketing and a supply chain standpoint, companies should determine what their customers want from a product or product they offer.
While it’s easy to guess what customers want, their needs remain unspoken. It is, thus, crucial to talk to them and understand their mind.
Consumer research involves a synergistic work of gathering relevant data regularly and putting them to use. If you are doing it occasionally, break the habit.
Comprehensive understanding of customers is the key to achieving your business goals. Whether you want to build a customer base or optimize user experience, increase sales, or create engaging content, you have to know your customers better, understand their needs, and deliver accordingly.
According to Teradata research, 41 percent of marketing executives use customer engagement data to inform marketing strategy.
However, marketers and organization heads are still neglecting this important aspect of pre and post-sale. Due to lack of in-depth understanding of customers, they are missing this crucial feature. Customer experience optimization is the best way to acquire new customers and retain existing customers. It is also a great way to foster customer loyalty.
Step-by-step guide to finding out what your customers want
1. Conduct consumer research
Consumer research is the basis of relevant and crucial information. It helps businesses determine their consumers, understand their preferences, and deliver their needs. Here’s how to go about it:
- Contact customers: To know your customers, you must contact them and speak to them. There is no better way to understand their needs. Personalized communication also works best because it breaks the ice and conveys a lot about customers, their profiles, and personas. You can choose to email, phone, or send an online survey to them. ASKLY is brilliant software that drives sales by asking the right questions to your targeted customers.
- Meet them: Would you mind meeting your customers? It is a more informal and approachable format of trade in modern business. Encourage your customers to attend industry events where you can interact with them on a one-on-one basis. You can learn a lot from them, their needs, and expectations when you meet them in person. For greater success, send your proficient employees to your customers for data gathering.
- Online activity tracking: When customers visit your website, track their behavior. Each customer is different from the other. While some may purchase in the first visit, others may take longer. If they leave a feedback or error report, follow it up.
- Role playing: If you were a customer, how would you rate your products and service? Place an order as anonymous and check out the process. If the experience were seamless and authentic, you would get adequate information.
2. Introduce smart customer engagement tactics
Provide value throughout your customer’s experience – it will result in higher retention and revenue. If you deliver value right, it could be a potential source of customer insight.
Real-time engagement with customers is now accessible with the latest tools and advanced technology. Messenger is a popular customer service channel and tools such as Drift enables you to speak to your customers as they visit your website.
Using these channels, you can collect customer insights and understand their mind better. As a result, you can work with the customer service team to develop patterns to deliver better.
Design surveys in such a way so that your approach is neutral. Ask customers for their opinion without any bias. Seek their impartial and uninfluenced opinion. After all, you are looking for genius insights, both positive and negative. You can ask questions like, “how can we improve?” or “what do you think could be better?”
Your approach should be concrete, in simple language, asking for feedback of a particular product or service. For instance, “how did the product improve your business?”
Surveys focusing on a specific area of customer experience are the right approach. Instead of asking too many questions about everything, ask insights of specific products and services.
Personalize your survey with Axis Surveys and ask relevant questions about the product, service or brand. Don’t forget to send emails with a survey questionnaire to your customers. You can use Axis Email Copy to compose and send emails.
3. Understand the dynamic buyer and create robust personas
Don’t just go with the crowd using basic demographics like age, sex, location, and profession as buyer persona determinants. Most often, these pointers fail to provide adequate information to create a message that connects with your customers emotionally.
To get deeper into the preferences of your customers, start using Google Analytics Acquisition Tab. It allows you to determine the social media channels, professional forums, and industry blogs from where your site receives traffic. Apply all the information to the personas to find out when and where you can reach them for results that are more effective.
When you acquire keyword data, it helps you to discover the terms buyer personas use for describing your services. You have to segment customers based on their keyword searches. Use Google Webmaster Tools to list common keywords driving high traffic to your site. You can then group those keywords into themes. Then, assign these themes to various personas based on available data.
4. Use customer analytics to get valuable insight
People visiting your website may just click and go; some people may stay and read a webpage. Every action of your prospects provides valuable insight into their behavior.
To understand how customers are interacting with the website, you can select any user behavior tracking tool. Of course, Google Analytics is the most reliable of all. It not only gives you insight but also helps you to gather information like the one bounce rate and time spent on a page.
Behavioral data plays a key role in deducing conclusive data. It helps you determine what your customers don’t understand, what they like and don’t like, and what you can add or deduct to create a stronger website and offer a better experience.
For instance, if your visitors have navigation issues – say technical glitches in visiting a page, make sure the interface allows a better, seamless, and user-friendly experience.
If your audience is spending more time on one page than others are, analyze that page and its content to see the reason for retention. If a page has a high bounce rate, analyze what is causing your audience to leave.
5. Develop a future plan for customer engagement
The only way to really understand what your customers want is to ensure they remain engaged. Customer engagement also allows you to plan and utilize the present optimally. Your customer experience specialists develop the correct path and take the best approach to respond to your audience even during challenging and stressful situations.
The latest range of predictive modeling software is fantastic in identifying cyclical trends and patterns in existing customer data. It also improves decision-making. These tools help experts to create realistic future models.
Predictive modeling is based on the principle of using historical behavioral data for analysis. It analyses which features were valuable to customers over time and the features customers did not use at all. Understanding the most frequently visited and most popular pages also informs the content strategy while focusing on formats and topics that is best to resolve the challenges raised by your audience.
Using the same model you can also determine trends of the features most commonly used and why your audiences liked them. Furthermore, looking at the market trends and analyzing the same would also give you an idea of what similar companies in your industry have accomplished. Based on these, you can explore various areas and devise new and advanced features.
6. Map the customer journey
Take your time to map the journey of your customers. Identify those areas where they might need your assistance. Do they need help with navigation? Do they need assistance when they reach your web page? Are there issues with signing up for a free trial?
Any or all of these events might trigger a unique opportunity to provide excellent user experience anticipating what customers may require at that moment.
7. Be social using the online media
Social media is no longer a mere platform to promote your industry expertise and brand message. Rather, social media is an incredible opportunity to get closer to your customers and understand what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, and how they prefer to express their opinion.
Have a social media plan with a dedicated team and time. Log on to a channel, promote your business, read comments, monitor keywords, analyze hashtags, and see how the industry reacts.
Look at the interests, conversation subjects, demographics, and customer interactions with the brand on social networks. Such general insights are invaluable assets for future promotions.
Find out what your customers want
Customer experience is the heart of any customer’s journey. Often, it is where companies want to save some money at their customers’ expense.
A 2018 PwC research shows that 60 percent of all customers would stop doing business with companies due to their unfriendly service. The same study further revealed that customers across several industries showed their willingness to pay as high as 16 percent premium for better customer service.
Use the tips and tools outlined in this article to collect information about what your customers want, and make sure you meet their expectations along the way.