4 ways to find out what your customers want

Sometimes it can seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to what your customers want. But figuring out why they chose your business, and what else you could be doing for them, is crucial for your continued success. 

Here are four ways to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and find out what they really want from your business.

1. Ask them face to face

By far the simplest option if you deal with your customers in person, just ask them! Chatting with customers about their experience and listening to their feedback can help you come up with new ideas that put the customer first.

If you’re not in a customer-facing business, or you want to go down a more formal route, you can set up customer interviews to gather specific feedback. These are especially useful if you’re launching a new product or service into a market, but they can also be valuable if you’re looking to refine your existing products or services. 

You might find it difficult to get people to give up their time for free, so offering an incentive, like a voucher or a small gift, might help to attract more customers to interview.

2. Create customer profiles

A customer profile is a detailed description of someone in your target audience. Customer profiles are normally based on your real best customers - your regulars, frequent referrers, or top-paying customers. 

To develop a profile, you need to research your existing customers in detail. You’ll want to understand their demographics, behaviours and interests to create a list of attributes. By learning about your customers’ lifestyle and preferences, you can start to see how your product or service fits their needs - and where you could improve it. 

At the end of the process, you’ll also have a handy document (normally containing two or three profiles) that you can use to keep yourself on the right track in future.

To get started, here’s a detailed guide on how to create customer profiles for your business.

3. Encourage your customers to leave reviews

As much as online reviews are a great way for potential customers to check the quality of service you offer, they’re also a great way for you to find out more about the experiences your customers are having. While some customers might be reluctant to express their true feelings face to face, they might be more forthcoming online - especially if you invite reviews.

When reading reviews, it’s important to keep an open mind and try not to feel offended by negative comments. View them instead as an opportunity to learn where you could improve. Always be polite and professional in your replies - remember that existing and potential customers are just as likely to read your replies as the customers who’ve complained.

4. Research what they’re searching for

Finding out what people search for when they look up businesses like yours can help you see what features they find most important. You could hire a search engine optimisation (SEO) expert to dig into this for you, but you can also get a good feel for it on your own. 

Simply type the product or service you offer into Google and take a look at the results that come up, paying close attention to the ‘People also ask’ section halfway down the page and the ‘Related searches’ section at the bottom. 

For example, typing in ‘dog walking services’ results in a lot of ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related searches’ results about price. To satisfy this demand, you might want to make pricing stand out clearly on your website and in your marketing material.

You can also look beyond Google by checking popular searches and questions on YouTube, TikTok and Reddit - to name a few!

Help shape the future of FreeAgent

At FreeAgent, we’re constantly looking for ways to match our product with your needs and expectations, and our customers’ input has been invaluable in shaping the product as you see it today. Find out more about how you can take part in our research groups and have a say in the future of FreeAgent.

Originally published
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