Effective businesses understand their customers and align their services and products to fulfill the needs of their customers.
This helps in establishing a long-term relationships with the customers which make customers less inclined to ditch
you for saving few bucks.
Often customers don’t express their emotions if something is flawed instead they simply move onto next best option this is a painful situation to be in as you are left with no feedback and no possible way to understand and prevent the same thing from happening in the future.
This is where all these ideas come into play and helps you as a business owner or a marketer to prevent yourself from situations like these.
1. Insights from discussion site
Today with industry based forum it has become very easy for business owners and stakeholders to spend time with their customers without weirdly trying to fit into the world of the customers physically.
Now with various platforms such as Reddit, Yahoo Answers, Facebook groups, Quora along with industry niche forums it’s easy to blend into the environment and get the unaltered ideas, problems, complains and aspiration of your existing or potential customers.
Doing this will serve two key purposes which can be incredibly valuable for your business.
Firstly, you will be able to listen and discuss with real people without affecting their opinion of your business and services which can be a really helpful way to pin point their issues.
Secondly, you might Discover a problem in your industry which no one is discussing in ecosystem of your industry and that should be your ultimate goal.
2. Understanding customer needs
The foundation of any business must be on the rock of understanding of user psychology rather than on the sand of your own expert guesses.
It is important to know if a customer have a need for your product or they might want your product.
This can be better understood with an example i.e. one person might want a multi vitamin pills but they need a painkiller if they are in pain. Understanding this simple example empowers us to see the difference between customer need and customer desires.
A good business is built on this understanding of customers need and the business provides a viable solution to the needs and problems of the customers.
To understand this better we must know what are the main triggers that can make people to look out for products to buy
Usually people move away from pain and towards pleasure this pain can be physical, psychological or emotional in nature.
Other form of motivation for customers to get something or buy something can be due to an emotion related to future pleasures.
c. Social influence
Human beings are social animals and they want to fit into the society and they want to be accepted by the society, especially by their peers. This can be a strong motivation for people to buy something so that they can fit into their social circle. Understanding all these customer needs put you in better situation for understanding your customers in a better way and fulfilling their requirements.
3. Leverage Surveys
If you are starting out or you want to do a course correction then this method of primary research can be one of the most powerful tools in your Arsenal.
Surveys let you to talk directly to your customers and ask them questions that matters to you and your customers.
This helps in portraying the picture from the user’s perspective rather than using your own preconceived notions about any subject.
There are multiple sites that provide certain incentivised surveys which you can be used to know what people perceive about anything at nominal prices.
To conduct successful surveys you need certain incentives as motivation for users to take up the survey.
However, the issue here is that, people tend to abuse these surveys to get a quick incentive and to safeguard yourself in such situations you need certain screening mechanisms to filter out unqualified survey responses.
4. Keyword Research
There are many tools in the market to carry out keyword research which range from free tools to premium products but first you need to know why do we need keyword Research and why does it matter.
The main reason that you should do keyword research are to identify
a. Vocabulary of the customers
It helps in identifying the key problems and needs of customers and the functional language that the customers are using to address them.
b. Volume of customers in a market
Market research helps you to see the market volume by identifying number of people searching for a particular keyword. The real numbers may vary but it gives a clear picture about the relative size of the market. The most useful and free tools to carry out this process are Google keyword planner found in Google AdWords account and Google trends.
5. Feedback from customers
Another good way to get insights from customers, to understand their needs, is getting feedback from your existing customers.
To get maximum advantage from this method we need to switch from passive to proactive approach for piling up the customer feedbacks.
This can be done by using after purchase and after signup feedback forms.
The simplest way of doing this is by providing a feedback form in the confirmation mail and a form in the confirmation page itself, as they have highest visiting numbers.
The additional benefit of this method is that it not only provides you the insights from your existing customers but it helps you to prevent potential negative reviews which might happen due to any given circumstances.
6. Define your ideal customer
Customer profiling is a crucial step for having successful marketing campaigns as it is the foundation of your marketing campaigns.
It helps you to align all the particular pieces of your marketing which are traffic sources, landing pages, creatives, email campaigns and your product itself.
Moreover, defining your ideal customer gives you an opportunity of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes figure out what matters most to them.
This makes your business and marketing approach extremely focused as your mindset will shift from converting all the traffic that lands on your website to converting people who match with your business philosophy.
Today the world is very noisy place and average user are beginning to have an attention span of ants. With limited budget in our pocket and Limited attention of users available to us being focused is a virtue.
7. Forming focus groups
Forming focus groups is a more hands down approach to understand and interact with customers.
This approach was quite famous until the internet has not been in place. Even today big FMCG companies tend to follow this approach and many gaming, software companies extensively form focus groups not only of their employees but of their idle customers as well and let them test the beta versions of their products.
This helps them to lead themselves on the path of success as the product is the most crucial part of any sales funnel and in long run any amount of marketing, cost cutting and customer support will not convert or retain the customers if the product is poor.
To prevent this kind of situation you can leverage focus groups formed of your idol customers which will help you to prevent many biases that you may have about your product and it will help you to get an objective look at your products and services.