A business is almost nothing without customers. Customers are one of the most important parts of a business, if not the most important. Without customers, sales cannot be generated. In the structure or mode of operation of any business, the customers are an integral part.
As a business owner, you should know your customers like a holy grail, because they are the backbone of your business. When you have a precise idea of your customers, you’ll be able to discern how best your business can provide goods and services tailored to who they are and what they need. If you create goods and services without putting your customers in mind, you may not be able to make sufficient sales.
Creating personas is a great way to get started with knowing your customers. A buyer persona is a research-based profile that helps to understand a target customer. Buyer personas help to describe who your ideal customers are, what their days are like, their decision-making process, their preferences, challenges they face, and lots more.
Creating a buyer persona helps to understand and relate to the intended audience you want to market your products and services to.
Establishing a Customer Relationship
Customer relationship is a continuous process of managing interactions with former, existing, and potential customers. A great customer relationship produces positive customer experiences, which strengthens customer retention and even promotes customer acquisition.
Ebony Swank, the owner of Swank A Posh boutique, emphasizes that customers are key to the success of any business. She makes an example with her own business;
“In 2009, I didn’t know how to reach my target audience or who they were. I just knew that I loved fashion and could style anyone. I thought that opening a store in a mall in a high-income community would bring in high-paying customers. However, that was not the case. I lost my $70,000 investment, and it was back to the drawing board. It then occurred to me that I needed to learn from my customers, so I began to study them inside and out. I learned their habits, favorite TV shows, favorite food, tax bracket, and everything else. I used Facebook to reach them, calling them personally when there were new arrivals. I also made all of my sales associates top sellers by offering them a commission.”
Swank A Posh has been able to build a community of over half a million women through an online social media presence and developing hundreds of clothing items, beauty products, and lifestyle items that compliment the SwankGirl. From the brand’s famed SuperGA jeans to their sexy bodysuit lines and generous sizing options, everything about Swank A Posh is designed to meet the needs of the everyday woman, no matter what size, style, or budget.
The essence of a solid customer relationship cannot be underestimated. For most customers, the purchase of a particular product or service often comes from an emotional angle. A person would only purchase a product or service based on trust that the product or service would bring some sort of joy, satisfaction, or happiness.
It takes some effort put into strengthening customer relationships to achieve this trust. Either directly or indirectly. A direct way is by making great offerings, asking for feedback, regular check-ins, discounts, and lots more.
On the other hand, an indirect way is similar to a ripple effect, where existing customers recommend or refer your products or services to others, based on the positive experience or connection with your brand. This is a way that referrals can trust you.
Getting into your Customers’ Headspace
Happy clients generate more revenue, and it is of the essence to know this. If your customers perceive that they are in good hands, you can expect to see a positive proportional result of that happiness in your business. Ebony emphasizes this; “Originally, I didn’t know my customer; now my brand is based on my customer and what they like,” she said. “My business has grown tremendously over a short period, and the way I used to run my small business has changed. “
A great way to know how to make your customers happy is by getting into their headspace. What makes them tick? What do they spend their time doing? What do they often need the most? What is their lifestyle like? What do they identify with?
It is important to go the extra mile and show genuine interest in the lives of your customers. A simple gesture like a simple “thank you” card shows that you put them in mind and that you care for them. This in turn fuels your business and its success on many levels.
Building empathy for your customers also makes your offering as useful, desirable, and accessible as possible. It’s important to take time to understand the needs and expectations of your customers from time to time.
Understanding your customers’ buying behavior is a way of getting into their headspace. As a business owner, you need to understand the type of person that will most likely need the product or service you provide. A way to do this is through market research.
Market research is a key way to collect data. The useful information obtained can teach you a lot about the customers you intend to attract. Not only will you know who your customers are, but you also get to know what they are really into. When conducting market research, here are some of the questions to have in mind;
- Why do they purchase your product or service?
- How often do they need the product or service?
- Who do they buy for?
- Where are they most likely to purchase? Online or offline?
Businesses that know what their customers want and what they expect can also work on customizing the customer experience to create loyalty and future patronage. As a business owner, it is crucial to use opportunities available to you to outsmart your competitors, and building upon your customer knowledge and relationship will put you ahead of your competitors.
When you put your customers first, attend to their needs and concerns, you would see positive results in your business. Never forget that your customers are the backbone of your business.