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Strategies to Understand Your Customers Better

The key to selling something lies in knowing two factors. First, you need to know the product that you’re selling. Second, you need to understand the buyer. Different people may buy the same product for different reasons, which means that if the seller understands their target audience, sales are never too difficult.

Still, how do you get to know your audience? 

What kind of methodology should you use to get to the bottom of this?

The answer is pretty simple – you conduct some tests, start using adequate tools, and start talking directly to your audience. Here are five tips to help you develop a better understanding of this.

Strategies to Understand Your Customers Better

1. Start using CRM

The simplest way to start “listening” to your audience is to use CRM. There are many options for highly demanded CRM software, and reading a few reviews before picking one for your own enterprise is always a good idea.

While the choice of CRM is important, you can’t go wrong with any from a credible top list. Most of them have great functionality and a great cost-to-value ratio. Still, depending on your industry, specific needs, and even UI preferences, there are some that you’ll like more than others. 

While CRM tracks all customer interactions, purchases, and feedback, its biggest advantage is the fact that it keeps everything centralized. This way you have a single large database containing all this vital information and you can get it on demand, whenever you need it. 

The best part is that CRM is so easy to integrate with some other platforms that you may be using. This way, you create an end-to-end system that you can use for further analysis or direct interactions with customers.

Due to this, using CRM is a sensible idea, regardless of what other items on this list you also plan to try and apply. Even when testing users or monitoring their social media behavior, you still want to have clear customer profiles. These profiles rely on the data you’ve collected. 

2. Social media listening

The data that you get from feedback will always be partially tainted. After all, you have no idea if the person you’re interviewing is paranoid (and they don’t believe that it’s anonymous) or if they’re just trolling, which will make them be extra mean and counterproductive.

Sure, all of this can be avoided by picking the right group and crafting the best questions that you can, but, at the same time, you also want to get a different kind of data.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to turn into a fly on the wall and listen to other people talking about you? Just think about how you talk about “some” people when they’re not around or how your friends talk about others when they’re absent. 

Well, when you’re a brand, you can actually find that out. What you can do is engage in the act of social media listening. This means that you’re out there looking for mentions of your brand. This means people talking about your brand (often without tagging or hashtagging your way) on other pages and in comment sections of content that’s not yours.

This way, you can draw constructive criticism or ask for a shout-out if the mention in question is positive. 

3. Direct feedback

At times, you can even ask individual customers for direct feedback. This way, you’re not getting a significant statistical sample, but you are obtaining important personal insight. You can give them a checkout popup, ask them to fill in a survey, or even ask them to leave a comment on your Discord channel.

Where the majority of brands go wrong is seeing this merely as an opportunity to obtain some quick PR wins. To them, a positive comment is a testimonial or a social proof. This makes them undervalue interviews (since they’re less relevant from this perspective). While you can quote a customer, getting a direct snippet is more effective (because it seems more authentic).

The biggest fallacy that a lot of business owners succumb to is the fact that they assume that they’re their core audience. This is usually not the case. After all, does Jeff Bezos still order from Amazon? Not likely. The thing is that, by having this one-on-one with individual customers, you’ll have a better shot at actually coming to this realization.

Lastly, directly asking for feedback makes your audience feel heard. This way, they get some personal attention and develop a feeling like they, individually, matter to your enterprise. 

4. User testing and usability

The next thing you need to consider is testing usability. 

First, you need to set the right objectives. What you’re usually aiming for are concrete functions of your domain, like navigation, consistency, and rate of errors. You also want to test for visual clarity and simplicity of platform use.

This is far more complex than you think. You see, you can’t evaluate the platform by how easy it is for you to use it. The problem is that you already know how to use it. Even if you didn’t, you’re an industry veteran, someone who does this for a living. This means that, even on a new platform, you’ll figure things out in a moment.

It’s like making a new strategy game and giving it to a first-time player, only for them to figure it out right away. Based on this, you would just assume that it’s user-friendly without asking them whether they have a decade of experience with 4X strategy games or if they’re casual mobile gamers.

Assumptions will lead you astray, so what you want is to have a plan and a clearly defined methodology. This way, everything will be reliable, and you’ll get the data that you can actually use. 

5. Create a customer persona

The next thing you need to do is focus on humanizing your demographic. What do we mean by this? Clearly, your audience is human, so this may sound like a bit of a paradox, but the reality is that when you get deep enough into the analytics, actual audience members will start feeling more like numbers on the screen than real people. 

So, imagine if there was such a thing as an ideal customer. We’re not talking about someone who just walks into a store, buys everything, and leaves without your team ever having to utter a word. We’re talking about someone who embodies all the averages that your analytics is providing you with. They’re of that specific:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Geographical location

This is the average persona that you’re crafting your marketing campaign for. It has been found that personas can result in a 100% increase in web page visits, 900% increase in visit duration, 111% increase in email open rate, and 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue.

However, there’s a twist. You see, there’s no such thing as a general average, and by trying to do averages, you can be horribly misled. What does this mean? Well, if you try to calculate averages, you’ll learn that you and David Beckham have been married to Victoria for 12 years each (him 24 years plus you 0 years, divided by two). 

To be more accurate, you should segment your audience and get the averages for each segment. That way, you’ll get closer to the real numbers.  

A consumer-centric approach will always make your sales pitch more appealing

The key thing to closing a sale lies in understanding your customers. The biggest problem with this lies in the idea that you can just “intuitively” know who you’re talking to. That you, as a manager, a salesperson, or an entrepreneur, can just “understand” or “guess” who your customers are. The truth is that the only way to find out is to go out there and do some fieldwork. In the digital era, this can be done via adequate tools. 

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