Customer understanding: reaching the heart and mind of your customers

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For successful companies, customer success is their success. To achieve this and deliver outstanding experiences to their customers, companies are using all the tools, Big Data and analytics to truly understand their customers.

Understanding your customers is essential for your operational and strategic success in sales and marketing. However, this even goes much further. A far-reaching understanding of customers translates into a well-functioning product genesis.

To provide a quality service to customers, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze and understand your target market, the target audience segment, their needs and demands, challenges and weaknesses, as well as their expectations of your company.

This is how you fundamentally improve your customer understanding

All major companies use Big Data and customer data to improve customer experience. This helps identify and understand the customers’ needs. Your various customer segments and customer personas have different expectations for your products and services. Not all your customers live in the same geographic location, earn the same salary, and have the same needs, challenges, and expectations of your brand. Their preferences and expectations might also vary from one month to the next.

It is all about collecting and analyzing customer data from different channels and contact points in the customer journey and deriving conclusions to improve the customer experience. Satisfied, or even better, delighted customers mean an increase in customer retention rates and customer lifetime value. Your most loyal customers not only stick with your service, but also recommend it to others.

Want to understand your customers? We can help you with that

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3 techniques for a deeper customer understanding

Real-time communication

You should try when and where ever possible to get in touch with your customers in real time. This can mean in meetings, at events, on the phone or in a live chat. Through this live communication, you get the unbiased truth straight from your customers’ lips. Important: Don’t deliver a sales pitch, but instead shift into a questioning and interested role. Ask a few crisp and value-creating questions to get closer to your clients, their everyday life and the use of your product in it. The results and information can be incorporated directly into new personalized messages and elements of your product. This will massively increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Surveys on customer enthusiasm and satisfaction

If a real-time / live conversation is not possible, then rely on as individualized surveys as possible for your customer base. Similar to a face-to-face conversation, the aim should be to get the relevant answers and, even better, emotions from the customer without interference. This way you get the uninfluenced and impartial opinion of your customers. Use this type of survey, for example, in your email automation or in a newsletter that is as customer-oriented and personalized as possible. 

Sometimes the unvarnished truth expressed from your customers’ point of view can be hard to digest. But these are the answers and comments you need to further optimize your products and services. You will quickly see where criticism that is justified or unjustified differs. 

A very simple and yet so powerful question for you to ask can be:

 “What needs to happen for you to be satisfied in our customer relationship? What would need to happen for you to be amazed?”

 
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Establish customer profiling

This is, at the latest, the point where you should start creating a customer profile. Many tools are available to create a customer persona, buyer persona or simply persona. Try the Customer Empathy Map for example. Building such a customer profile will give you deeper insights into buying preferences, intentions and sentiment of your customers. Your “partners” for this activity will naturally become data that you can obtain online as well as offline. 
 
Put your focus on identifying where your ideal clients are going and what they are consuming. Is it social media, blogs, advertising, email campaigns? The deduction and logical consequence: be where your target audience is. This is the key to understanding existing and new clients.
 
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About Me

As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience on a daily basis how important customer centricity is for companies.

Incorporate the essential perspective of the customer into your product development and marketing processes. That puts horsepower on the road and keeps your business moving forward.

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