Every business needs customers to survive and thrive. Gaining a better understanding of consumers as individuals can help inform current and future business decisions.
It’s important to understand everything you can about your customers, but there are some essential things to focus on that drive deeper connections. Here, eight members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss what those things are and how they help.
1. Find out their interests/passions to offer value.
Understand that these are individuals that breathe air and have interests, passions, things they hate and things they love. Then, find out what they are and how you can offer value to them in terms of content and more. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
2. Watch what they do.
Watch what consumers do, not what they say. Consumers are notoriously bad at saying what they are willing to spend money on, but they often don’t really know what they want until they experience it. Build testing into your product to give consumers options and watch what they choose. Think of the adage, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Jeremy Brandt, 1-800-CashOffer
3. Note the breadth of their areas of concern.
Companies should learn what the biggest areas consumers are concerned about are because when you solve concerns or fears, you are creating stickiness with your customers. Additionally, noting the breadth of these issues will provide you with ideas on product extensions or new ways to meet current or future customer needs. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates
4. Understand why companies buy from you.
Understand why your companies buy from you. What is their “why” for working with you? What is your superpower? Identifying this and focusing on it in your business will help your business hit the goals you have in place. Business is about relationships, and the stronger the relationships the stronger the business. – David Wescott, Transblue
5. Create buyer personas of primary segments.
The most effective and efficient path to understanding your customers as individuals is to create buyer personas that consist of composite images of primary customer segments. With defined personas the entire company can rally behind, the next step is to dive deeper into their psychology. Consider what the problems are that you are solving, their symptoms and associated emotions. This is foundational marketing. – Kent Lewis, Deksia
6. Help them understand whole-life benefits.
A consumer needs to genuinely understand what the product benefits are, from a whole life perspective, and how it will positively impact them, society and the environment. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
7. Add or create value with every interaction.
Every customer interaction or touch point can only yield one of three results: maintain the status quo, destroy trust or create/add new value to the customers. Unfortunately, two of the above-mentioned approaches yield the same negative outcome. Develop a strategy to add/create value with every interaction. Value creation should be front and center with each interaction — no exception. – Quoc Nguyen, Arthur Lawrence, LLC.
8. Collect feedback from satisfied customers.
One of the basic principles of consumer psychology that many businesses fail to understand and apply is that customers are significantly more likely to trust other customers than anyone else when it comes to choosing whether or not to go with your product. Thus, businesses need to focus on collecting positive feedback from satisfied consumers to build brand awareness and new consumer trust. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor