According to a recent Forrester Research, we live in the “Age of the Customer” where customers are driving our businesses and not us as companies or entrepreneurs. Whether you are a seasoned company with years of experience in the field or a startup trying to get off the ground, one of the first questions you need to answer is: “Who are my customers and what do they want?” Sometimes real bonds between a company and a client develop, but other times you can spend hours chatting to a client and still don’t figure out what makes him tick.
In an online era, with so much access to people and so many tools to understand them, it is imperative to use technology to reach out to them in order to attract them and retain them. So let’s see today a few tech tricks to help you know your customers better.
1. Polls and Surveys
The simplest mean to get to know somebody is to ask that person tailored and targeted questions. And given the huge number of online surveys and polls building tools available, there is no excuse for a company not to use them. You can start by asking your fan base their name, age and other demographic data and go deeper with the “interview” trying to gather as much information as possible about their wishes and needs, priorities, views on your company and products, their level of satisfaction in relationship to your brand and so on.
Polls and surveys can feature open questions, open-ended ones, multiple choice ones – the world is yours. Depending on what you want to learn from them you can tweak your polls so your customers give you actionable feedback, plenty of information about what they really want and many ideas on how to offer them what they wish for.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many companies ignore their website and social media analytics. One of the simplest and most powerful tools to get your customers better, integrated Google Analytics speaks about who the people visiting your website are, where they go, what makes them stay, what makes them leave and what can you do to keep them close. If you want to take things further, you can use other analytics tools to get better and deeper insights about your customers:
- KISSmetrics – it gives you useful information about users’ behavior before and after making a purchase from your website, allowing you to boost your customers’ acquisition and retention process.
- GoSquared – it provides actionable metrics and is tailored for e-commerce websites. It measures customers’ engagement, social traffic and traffic spikes among others.
- GoingUp – it includes SEO metrics as well as traffic metrics and engagement measurements letting you monitor keyword search, popular pages and users’ engagement with the website.
These are just a few tools you can use to know where your customers come from, where they go, how they interact with your products and what keeps them there.
3. Customers’ Reviews
Every business that means business has a reviews-integrated platform that allows you to see your actual customers’ opinions about your company and products. While such practices go better with huge online stores that sell many categories of products or many products in the same niche, this doesn’t mean you can’t adapt such a system to your own website. One helpful tool is the “customers who saw this were also interested in…” feature you can set up from your e-commerce platform.
Another trick is to look into Amazon reviews – verified purchases is your go-to concept – and learn what satisfied customers had to say about the best bookshelf speakers they have ever listened to for instance. You may also sell car shades or other automotive-related products. One of the best things about Amazon reviews – in comparison to website-specific rankings and comments – is that people tend to speak a lot about themselves and their wishes or needs.
Reading such reviews will get you a clearer view on what real people are looking for, what products interest them more, what product faults makes them complain and what is their stand on customer service, return policies, shipping, prices and company trustworthiness. This is raw and qualitative data, not quantitative, but it will get you a bigger picture you can further work with.
4. Check out the Competition
Unless you live in a market void or you just have invented something that didn’t existed a minute ago, you are likely to have fierce competitors to fight against. Understanding your competition allows you to know your own customers better: how will they end up knowing your company; what do your competitors use to keep their customers engaged and returning; what resources your competitors use to stand out of the pack and so on.
There are plenty of professional competition analysis tools that look into your competitors’ websites and social media activity, measuring social buzz and campaigns success, SEO metrics and users’ engagement – you don’t need to actually spy on your competitors, but get inspired. Some of the most interesting tech tools to use are:
- SemRush – a SEO tool that offers you a myriad of metrics related to keyword research, outbound links and page rankings.
- InfiniGraph – a social media tool helping you learn what content and brands are of interest for your industry’s niche.
- What Runs Where – this is a sneaky tool alerting you on your competitors’ ad and content campaigns.
Technology has plenty to offer in terms of research, deep understanding, and monitoring. Getting to know your clients better – apart from actually looking them up with a Google Search or Facebook – allows you to understand not only their demographics but their behavior, preferences, soft spots, values, and strengths so you can tailor your own message. And convert, of course.
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- Tech Tricks to Help You Get To Know Your Customers Better - October 10, 2016