Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer or even the CEO of a multinational company, getting to know your customers can prove invaluable. By understanding your customers you’ll be better placed to anticipate their needs and provide them with a great product or service - meaning they’ll be more likely to come back again in the future.
To help you get to know your customers better, we’ve pulled together five simple tips for success:
1. Interact with your customers regularly
Face-to-face interactions are one of the most effective ways to get to know your customers. Whether it’s a meeting with a client, chatting during an appointment or hosting an event, getting face time with your customers is the best way to learn about their needs. Chatting face to face can provide a huge amount of insight into how customers feel about your product: what they love, where your brand fits into their lives, what you can do better and much more!
Of course, meeting customers face to face is easier for some businesses than others, but there are lots of other ways to interact. Many freelancers use phone and video calls to catch up with their clients, while social media channels (more on them below!) have made business/customer conversations easier than ever. Whatever your situation, finding a way to interact with your customers that’s right for you can provide a wealth of valuable information.
2. Get social
Social media platforms allow you to engage with both existing and prospective customers around the clock. Channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn allow brands to gather feedback, inform, entertain and offer support to their customers!
If you’re using social media to interact as a business, remember that it pays to be responsive and personal. Don’t be afraid to be on a first-name basis with your customers and be sure to respond to any feedback in a measured and helpful way, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
You can read more about engaging with customers on social media in our guide to social media for small businesses.
3. Value their opinion
People love to share their opinions so why not ask your customers for theirs?! From simple conversations to Twitter polls, there are a huge number of ways to gather your customers’ opinions on your product or service, including:
- customer surveys and feedback forms (ideal for larger customer bases)
- conversations on social media
- comments on your blog
- interactions on online communities and forums
By asking your customers what they think, you can collect a range of valuable insights that should help you improve your product or service and keep your customers happy!
4. Be the host with the most
If you run a small business, hosting events can be a brilliant way to get to know your customer base. In addition to generating great opportunities for networking and creating a buzz around your company, hosting an event also allows you to get some valuable face-to-face time with customers.
Admittedly, putting on an event won’t always be feasible for some small businesses and freelancers. Even if you can’t host an event yourself though, trade shows and conferences in your industry can be a good way of networking and putting your brand in the minds of potential new customers - so get out there and start making an impression! You can read more in our guide to finding new customers through networking.
5. Show them some love
Showing your customers that you appreciate them can go a long way. Depending on your business, this might include sending out thank-you cards and seasonal messages, offering exclusive promotions and discounts or simply offering an amazing customer experience. Loyalty programmes, offers and personalised recommendations are all great ways of showing that you care, but nothing beats providing great customer service and building relationships!
Find out more about how FreeAgent’s accounting software keeps your business bookkeeping on the right track, so you can spend more time getting to know your customers.