Instead of Your New Year’s Resolutions, Know Theirs
Successful businesses are planning big goals for 2017. How about you? Maybe this is the year for a website update. Budget dollars may be available for an email marketing campaign designed to increase customer retention. You’ve wanted to venture into video content, and this could be the year to make it happen. Optimism is brewing. You and I can be anything in the New Year.
How do we achieve our New Year’s resolutions? We focus on our best customers and their goals. Declare 2017 as the year to get to know them better. Who are your best customers? What are their plans in the next 12 months?
Every business exists because of its customers. We know this. But do we truly know even our best customers? Do we understand them?
According to a study by Econsultancy for IBM, 80 percent of marketers strongly believe they have a holistic view of individual customers. Average customers, however, downright reject such claims. Four out of five consumers surveyed stated companies do not understand them as an individual.
What activities can you do this year to minimize the understanding gap and deepen relationships with key customers?
Schedule Customer Talk Time
Investing time in meeting a customer face-to-face leads to the discovery of valuable insights. Your customer’s point of view will help form new marketing strategy, grasp potential opportunities and understand communication weaknesses of your product and service offerings. Get out of the office, accompany your salespeople. Schedule visits with major customers at events or tradeshows. Think about what is vital to know and focus on your customer’s point of view. What are their three biggest problems? What troubles them? How can you be of service?
Get Customer’s Feedback with Surveys
Challenge your hunches of your leading customer’s preferences by surveying. Obtain the information you need to make improvements that will matter to key customers. Do those customers think your service is top-notch? What is the perception of your company’s market position? One important metric to consider is the Net Promoter Score. This calculation considers how likely is it that your customer would recommend your company to a friend or colleague.
Be Where Your Customer Goes
Whether your top consumers number in the tens or in the thousands, or in-between, knowing demographics and past purchases is not enough. Today’s marketers study the consumer’s behavior. In some cases this is done individually, in other cases through the use of buyer personas and market segmentation. Listen to your customers on their favorite social media channels. Learn about who and what they like, and how they feel about your brand. Leverage your learning to inform marketing communications. Engaging your customers with a personalized message is an essential component in building an authentic relationship.
Your primary customers are doing business with you today. Meanwhile, your competitors are working to win your customers. A failure to understand and meet customers’ expectations could be costly. They may believe a better experience awaits elsewhere. What if they switched tomorrow? Develop a deeper knowledge about your best customers now, because your competitors have New Year’s resolutions too.
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