Every company depends upon a vital part of their business: customers. The goal of any company is to create a product or service that uniquely meets the needs of its customers and market it with respect, integrity, and overall concern that the buyer gets what he or she wants. How does a business understand the desires of its customers, and how does that business receive honest feedback from its users?
Understanding your customers allows you to provide better service: this is clear. But exceptional customer care involves getting to know your customers so well that you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations. Collecting data and then studying it allows you to understand the habits of the customers. Another way to get feedback is to simply ask your customers what they honestly think.
All companies and organizations need to do the following in order to be successful and profitable:
- Establish a strong and reputable brand
- Design and develop strong marketing tools and materials
- Implement a communications and engagement strategy
- Create an effective marketing and growth plan
- Attract, engage, and retain ideal customers
Our last blog discussed the value of investing in research and information gathering up. We also listed a few of the key items research can tell us. But how does this information benefit us if we don’t respond to it and use it?
Even more important than what you uncover with research is what you can gain by analyzing it and applying what you have learned:
At one time or another every business owner has asked herself, “Why didn’t they buy from us?” What makes a consumer choose a certain company to fill their needs and wants?
Every buyer has a specific journey he or she takes when selecting a product or a service to fill a need. Take a person who is getting sick as an example. The first thing they do is become aware that they are not feeling well. Their throat gets scratchy, nose becomes runny, and their head hurts. They know something is wrong with them and they need to find relief. So they get on the Internet and start googling their symptoms and chatting friends on Facebook to find out what is wrong. This buyer is in the Awareness Stage of their buying journey.
Abram’s Bed – The Safety Sleeper is a fully enclosed & portable bed developed by a mom who saw a great need in the special needs market place. During her own struggles with keeping her autistic son safe an night time, as he was prone to night wandering and other sleep issues due to his diagnosis, Rose began developing solutions to protect her son and give she and her husband peace of mind in the night. From that need and great innovation, The Safety Sleeper was born.
One of the most important aspects of successful marketing is positioning yourself as an expert in your industry. The key to doing this is providing consumers with information they need to address their concerns before they have to voice those concerns to you. This is a proactive form of marketing that will help ensure you are recognized as a reliable leader in your industry. Here are some key action steps to take to achieve and maintain your expert status:
Think about the last time you set out to purchase a vehicle. How did you make that purchasing decision? You went through four distinct steps. First, you became aware that you needed a new vehicle. Second, you searched for information. Third, you evaluated the alternatives and lastly, you made a purchase decision.
Regardless of what your product or service is, understanding what your customers think of both you and your competitors is key. While you may have an idea of who your competitors are and what they do, ultimately you aren’t the ones making the purchasing decisions. Fortunately, there are many ways to scope out your customers’ views and one of the easiest ways is through the use of social media.
Social media is defined as the interaction of people through online networks and communities. Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest examples of social media, and both can be used to see what your customers are really thinking.
Building a relationship with your customers has several advantages. From increasing perceived value to enhancing the overall customer experience, building relationships with your customers is crucial to your business’s long-term success. Unfortunately for most businesses, they are neglecting to consider the impact that customer relationships have on their business and ultimately their bottom line. In an interesting study conducted in the 2013 Customer Satisfaction Report, clients of over 200 IT companies were questioned about their loyalty. The study showed that one in six clients were “at risk” of leaving or cancelling their contracts because of customer service issues.
Differentiating your brand can be a seemingly difficult task in a world that is quickly globalizing. Social media, blogs, email, and search engines in general have broken the barriers in the business world as we know it. Target markets now have access to millions of companies that offer the same services or products that you do. So how do you distinguish yourself and set your brand apart from your competitors?
We’ve all heard of how companies achieve high rankings and exceed annual goals but then reach their decline. Several have experience the “fall” in terms of decreased performance, lower customer satisfaction, and unhappy employees. It is a seemingly never ending push to get out of a long-term slump. So how do you avoid this fallout?
To maintain an active leadership position in your particular industry, your peak performance has to be sustained to maintain the competitive edge that set you in that position in the first place. Consider these three ways to avoid potential fallouts and stay on top of your game.