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June 20, 2011

How to Get to Know Your Customers – A SPN Exclusive Article

In the current difficult economic climate it is more important than ever, as well as more difficult than ever to both attract new customers and retain your existing one. With so many businesses offering deals and bargains to attract business during the recession it can be difficult to keep up without sacrificing all your profit. The best way to maximize your sales today is to make sure that you know your customers – what matters to them most when they are making a purchase, how they decide what they need and which marketing approaches are most successful with them. By getting to know your customers you can more easily develop a rapport and instil in them a sense of loyalty – making your company their first thought when they decide to make a purchase. So, what are the best ways to get to know your customers?

Social Media

It seems like everyone has a Facebook and a Twitter today. More and more companies are making use of social media to connect with customers, and it is a sound business decision. By becoming involved with your customers on social media you become involved in their daily lives, and gain access to a wealth of information about their likes, dislikes, location and other valuable data.

Customer Relationship Management Software

Customer Relationship Management software allows you to gather information about your customers through integrated market research and updates from points of contact such as sales personnel and customer service staff. However, it does much more than that – it allows you to analyze the data that you have accumulated, automatically flagging point of interest and opportunities for growth. The software can anticipate your customers’ needs and flag your attention to potential opportunities to make sales.

Post-Sale Feedback
It is always a good idea to reconnect with your customers after you have made a sale – it helps to build a rapport and can make the customer feel valued and important, promoting repeat sales in the future. It can also be an excellent way to get feedback on how well your company served the customer’s needs and any room for improvement that may be available. It can be especially valuable if something has gone wrong in the sales process or the customer has a complaint.

Focus Groups
Focus groups can be ideal for the testing of new products or potential strategies. They allow you to hear real-time feedback from customers about the idea and follow up with any particular questions that suggest themselves from your customers’ responses. Many companies have used focus groups to road-test successful products. They can now be carried out on line as well as in person by making use of video technologies like Skype.

The old fashioned survey still has a place in today’s market research. The rise of the internet has made it much easier to administer and target your surveys. You can use paid survey sites or offer your Twitter followers the chance to win a prize if they answer the survey. This has the added benefit of reducing your costs.

This is an article by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.