“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar
The third Thursday of January is National Get To Know Your Customers Day, so today we suggest you check in with your team and see if you all know your customers. But you already track web traffic and consumer buying information – why is it important to get know your customers beyond their purchase transaction with your company? Because most businesses succeed as a result of repeat customers.
According to a study conducted by RJMetrics, top performing companies see 20% of their business from repeat customers in the first month of business. By year three, those same top performing companies see 60% of their business from repeat customers. Of course you want to dominate your market and have as many customers as possible, BUT don’t forget to get to know and take care of your customers. People who feel valued by the companies they transact with are more likely to become repeat customers, and are also more likely to recommend your company to friends and family.
Getting to know your customers is easier when you operate a coffee shop or retail store front. You see you customers and interact with them in person. You can often learn their names and their typical orders or favorite products. Running an online business or a company in which you do not personally interact with your customers can create challenges to getting to know them – but it’s not impossible!
Don’t underestimate the power of good email communications with customers. Customers are people, and people like to be appreciated. Sending a thank you email immediately after a transaction with your customer will let them know you care. Make sure the thank you email is just that – appreciation without a sales pitch! Showing appreciation without asking for anything in return will garner trust and respect from your customer.
Following up a few days later with a sales email will keep you top of mind and remind the customer you are a good company with whom they should continue to do business. Send monthly newsletter emails, but keep them brief. No one likes an inbox full of junk mail. If it makes sense for your company, consider a loyalty program and ask the customer for information like their birthday, so you can acknowledge them specially a few times a year (birthday, holidays, loyalty anniversary, etc…)
Encourage your customers to follow you on social media and engage with them there. Pick a few social media channels that make sense for your company and invest time into posting and engaging with your customers there. Providing good content across multiple platforms will make it easy for loyal customers to share your company with their networks. If social media management is not your area of expertise, and you aren’t ready to hire a social media manager, consider engaging with a company like Site Altitude, who will take care of your social management across any and all platforms. And when you are ready to hire a great social media manager, let Salt Lake Staffing find you a perfect fit.
Through email and social media engagements, you can poll your customers, send surveys, ask questions, and start conversations. Tracking responses and comment threads can provide really valuable information about your customers and your market share. Do all your customers respond similarly, or do their responses spread the gamut? Asking questions that can help dial in your product in a fun way will be engaging and helpful to you and your customers.
One of the best customer service opportunities a company has is releasing a new or improved product based on specific customer feedback. Nothing says we care about our customers more than “we listened, we heard you, and we improved our product for you.” Making an improvement or change like this only comes from getting to know your customers.
Another great way to get to know your customers – especially if you do not have a storefront to interface with them in person – is to hold an event for them. Pop-up shops at farmers markets or once a month art walks are great opportunities to engage with customers face to face without a permanent storefront. Customers will love meeting you in person, and you can reward your loyal customers with special gifts (stickers, pens, candy, etc…) when they go to your pop-up shop. Create an “Instagram-able” photo op at your pop-up shop to entice customers to post about you on their social networks and drive more traffic to your company.
If you are concerned this may not work because your product is a service/app/technology, not a tangible thing to show… Go interactive! People love to try new things – if your product is a service/app/technology you can demonstrate, set-up a pop-up shop that gives you the space you need to demonstrate. Bring computers or other devices if customers should use them to experience your product. If people have fun with it, or use it and see the value, their excitement will help sell it for you!
In the end, getting to know your customers should be something you focus on constantly. While Thursday is #NationalGetToKnowYourCustomersDay, don’t just spend one day a year, or one day a quarter on this important work. A great marketing plan is rooted in knowing your customer – not just their buying history – but who they are, what they like, what they like to share on social media. By learning more about your customers, you’ll be better positioned to adapt and change to their market demands, making them the recurring, loyal customers we all seek.