On January 16, we’re celebrating “Get to Know Your Customers” day by digging into some data and having some big conversations about the future of Incfile. No matter how much you engage and empathize with your customers, there’s always more to learn to help you better serve them. If you’re interested in celebrating “Get to Know Your Customers” day (and getting to know them better all year long) we’ve rounded up a few good ideas.
Source and Share Customer Stories
Why not learn from the source? If you want to get to know your customers’ stories, pain points and triumphs with your product or service, ask them to tell the truth. Record it and share it. Break down the barriers that leave us assuming our product works well and makes a difference — be sure.
If you build trust and leave room for feedback, your customers will be glad to share what they loved most about buying from you, and what left them wanting something more. You’ll double down on that feedback by sharing these customer testimonials with your followers. Comments will tell you if the experiences your customers have vary wildly, or if many of your customers share similar complaints and praises.
Feature Your Customers
To really go #NoFilter with your customer research, feature the content they create for their own audiences. Influencer marketing is one somewhat-biased way to make this happen, but you might gain more authentic insight by sourcing and sharing User Generated Content (UGC) from any and all customers.
Create a custom branded hashtag like Urban Outfitters’ #UOonU or #OptOutside from REI. Encourage your customers to tag your handle when they share pictures wearing your clothes, eating in your restaurant, or attending your course. You’ll see how your customers style your products uniquely, mix up their order in your cafe or benefit from your service. You’ll see, at a glance, who buys from you and what they have in common.
Bonus: resharing this content builds your community and encourages more customers to share, too.
As you expand your social media content this year, don’t forget the golden rule of social media: be social. Dig into the people who follow you and tag your brand on socials, follow them, see who else they’re following and even make it a habit to proactively answer customers’ questions about your products and services, even if they didn’t tag you. Go the extra mile here. Using a brand mention software or even using advanced search functions will help you find posts about your brands and products, your competitors and their products and the industry in general.
Build a Community
Another step to the two-way social media street would be to host and harness your own community. Private Facebook groups, Meetup groups and niche email lists can help you curate a VIP insiders list of people who are loyal to your brand. This is your new advisory board.
Act on Product Feedback
Read your reviews with a product development lens. Customers will often suggest relevant changes, add-ons or unnecessary components for the products and services they use. If you’re not getting a lot of reviews yet, create a campaign centered on gaining customer feedback.
You can also send out (and incentivize) a customer survey or feedback form. Make reasonable changes to your products or add new ones to accommodate customer requests, then let them know. When customers see that you’ve made the changes they suggest, they’ll have even more to say.
Host a Customer Appreciation Event
Cast a wide net and invite your customers to a pop-up shop, sponsored event or open house in your city, or in multiple cities where you’re stationed. Any customer willing to leave the house and come out to your event is probably a great model customer for you to target. Ask them as many questions as you can.
Get Comfy with Your CRM
Anecdotal insights about your customers are always great, but don’t forget your data. Properly setting up and utilizing your CRM can help you understand demographics, psychographics and behavior. While this data can’t tell the whole story about your customers, it’s a great place to store the facts and add observational notes.
Rally Your Employees
Who among your teams is customer-facing? Tap into the conversations your sales teams, customer service representatives, servers, cashiers and account managers are having with your customers.
What pain points, questions, and obstacles frequently befall your customers? How are these things being recorded? This might be a good time to set up call tracking or find key ways to capture your most frequent issues and questions.
Hire Your Enthusiasts
Another way to always have an ear on what your customers want, is to hire them! It’s not imperative or practical to expect that all of your employees are users of your product or service, but there should always be someone in the room who would use or need what you offer. Don’t be the maternity company that forgot to hire any moms.
Follow Their Footsteps
Walk in your customers’ shoes online to get inside their heads.
- Follow the publications, people and brands they follow.
- Spend time in the forums they use.
- Read the comments they leave on articles, podcast episodes and videos.
- Note all of your customers’ abandoned carts and past purchases.
- Check out your top-performing blogs, emails and social posts. Look for patterns.
- Look at your onsite search data to learn more about what your customers want.
- Gather keyword research to know what’s being searched about you and your industry.
You can use this information to more succinctly profile your various customers and group them into archetypes by lifestyle, need or goal.
Empathize with Your Customers
How do you know what your mom, spouse or best friend would want for their birthday? Do you know what your mechanic, yoga teacher or gynecologist would want? The more time you spend with someone, and the more consciously you tap into their needs, the more you’re equipped to help them. As you spend more time among your customers, online and in real life, you’ll start to understand them as friends and neighbors, equipping you to better serve them.
How can you get to know your customers better this month and all year long? Tweet your answer to us @Incfile to help us get to know our customers better, too!