A business exists because there are “Customers” to buy an organizational product/service. A business must know its customers to cater to their needs and requirements. However for long term success, growth and to remain profitable, a business must also have an ability to understand, retain and attract customers.
At the onset, a business needs a clear understanding on what is their unique value propositions and which requirement of customer is their product/service rendering to retain and attract customers. This sounds simple. Isn’t? You will agree it is not. A business can have a million dollar idea, product/service but if is not able to understand its customer’s requirements/needs which is complex for sure there will be no taker of the organizational product/service. Customers will not buy if they don’t want it and think they don’t need it. To persuade them to consider your product/service, a business owner needs to understand, listen and interact with its customers.
To know “Your Customers” and to cater to their needs and requirements you should clearly understand who your customers are and what motivates them. What are “Your Customers” attitudes, preferences and needs? What are their problems for which you are supporting/ helping them through your products/services?
Understanding “Your Customers” and connecting to their emotions and expectations can not only increase your sales conversion, but will also support you to have loyal customers (Find out how loyal your Customers are by taking the Free Assessment by clicking here ) who generate positive word of mouth to attract more customers and generate growth for long term success.
Even research quantifies it. For example, a Harvard Business Review study titled “The New Science of Customer Emotions“, customers who are engaged emotionally to a brand are
At least three times more likely to recommend an organisational product/service.
Three times more likely to re-purchase and Less likely to shop around (44% said they rarely or never shop around)
Emotionally engaged customers are much less price sensitive (33% said they would need a discount of over 20% before they would defect).
As a business owner/manager connecting to “Your Customers” emotions and expectations through carefully designed processes can troubleshoot your business problems and also enhance growth. Incorporating and designing an experience with processes having a focus at crucial touch points can enhance positive emotions and will lead to experiences that build over time. Consistent, predictable customer experience reduces cognitive, physical and time effort while meeting or exceeding demands, expectations and thus increase demand in short term as well as loyalty in the long run.
Few ways to understand “Your Customer” as a business owner/decision maker,
1) Don’t Make Assumptions
Don’t make assumptions that you know your customer’s preferences and beliefs basis just your gut feeling or past practices. Each day our customers are changing. So if customer earlier were comfortable with physical merchandise shopping, now they want and are equally at mobile apps and internet websites. Not only for e-commerce but viewing habits for example too are enhancing. If earlier TV and radio were great platforms for content viewing habits of customers, it is evolving as now the customer is equally or may be more comfortable with content and 24/& streaming on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon prime and so on. The web based entertainment/content based business is catching up with traditional theatres shutting their shop.
As a business owner/decision maker, you need to constantly work and enhance experience through an understanding of best practices, an updated data through multiple platforms and strategies( Read more about customer experience management by clicking here to generate positive emotions trust and greater Customer Experience at each touch point.
2) Interact and Seek feedback from all stakeholders including Customers
It is one of the most effective methods to understand your customers better. Interact and Seek feedback from all stakeholders including Customers to understand and get insights to serve them better. Understanding ‘why’ as well as ‘how’ can support you as a business owner to get a clear picture of what has to be accomplished to provide superior customer experience.
Insights not only includes feedback from Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for customer’s likings, their habits and most importantly what they are buying but also from employees, suppliers, mentors to support a business to create a differentiation from competition. Feedback surveys including personal interviews, Customer journey profiling are some of very effective tools to understand “Your Customer” .And these tools should be designed without bias for concrete information with a focus.
Effectively, a more human interaction can increase engagement and also can support an organization to have feedback easily. Engaged Employees and a customer centric culture in an organization can create an edge for any business, leveraging and creating processes through feedback. Like for instance, Zappos a global shoes and merchandise online platform. They call their Customer Support Staff as Customer Loyalty team who talk to their customers naturally without a prior script to listen to their problems, suggest solutions or more so to keep improving their deliverables through opinions and feedback. Zappos is a leader globally in Customer Experience and has been able to do so by seeking feedback from stakeholders and creating a customer obsessed culture. Nothing beats if you get more human on regular basis to get deeper into pains, needs and challenges without bias and with focus to understand.
3) Walk in Customer’s Shoes through Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey Mapping is created by walking through the customer shoes and through creating a graphical representation to anticipate their emotions, experiences with an organization for pre-purchase and post-purchase scenarios.
You can lose customers at different stages (pre-purchase, post purchase scenarios) and it’s important to understand their problems and opinions. If you are a startup utilize Customer Journey Maps to create a unique differentiation (Some information on our blog ) or if you have a matured organization than Customer Journey Mapping can support you as a business owner to develop more closer customer, buyer personas to anticipate problems and trust deficit issues for designing positive experiences through engaged employees and other stakeholders.. These personas can make a clear case on the touch point attrition, retention levels and creation of positive emotion and trust for enhanced Customer Experience ( Read our Case on Customer Journey Mapping for a matured organisation by clicking here )
As a business owner or decision maker, Customer Journey Mapping can support you to evaluate the experiences of your target customer segments and create a unique differentiation and positioning for a start-up, matured organization or any business that could be baking, online selling, publishing and so forth. You should be able to identify stages to offer value to your customers, and identify requirements to further improve. It is easier to retain a customer than to attract a new one. And Customer Experience Management can support an organizational journey to deliver product/services as per customer needs/requirements while also generating positive emotion and trust for retaining and attracting new customers.
You will agree that understanding “Your Customers” is a long and a continuous process to generate positive emotions at each interaction. However, it can support your organizations in today’s complex and ever-evolving landscape to gain invaluable information that will help broaden your reach.
Understanding “Your Customers” is important to design product/services through carefully designed customer experiences to add value that can create a differentiation or create a USP for any startup or matured organization. Generating positive emotions and trust needs processes that can be developed, matured and constantly updated through strategies and customer data. Know “Your Customers” not only for revenue but for growth and to survive.