It’s not enough to offer products and services that work merely as promised. Fit-for-purpose is no longer a compelling reason for consumers to engage. There is just too much choice out there. Without inspiring behaviour change in our audience, brand preference and recognition is stagnant or non-existent and therefore, so is competitive advantage.
So how do we engage the end user? By appealing to their emotions with a demonstration of our understanding for their problems of course. All problems are story gaps that need closure.
Before we can appeal to our clients emotions with empathy and understanding so they might see us a logical choice to help them find a resolution, first we must find that understanding.
Here are 5 ways to understand our clients better:
(1) Send out a survey
Surveys are a great way to connect with your customers. There are various free online survey platforms that you can use to send surveys to your customers. Survey Monkey is a very handy and simple to use platform and it’s also totally free.
Surveys help you to get client feedback, can be quite engaging and also prompt action on your customer’s behalf. Make sure that the questions you ask clearly reflect that you are trying to help them by improving your offering and learning about their needs and wants. Try and be creative with your questions so the experience isn’t boring and strategic in helping customers prompt their own thinking so they’ll remember you when they need you. It’s always a good prompt to offer a prize of some description, whether it be products or services or a nice tech item for them to play with to add some extra incentive to fill out the survey.
(2) Create a Facebook group on your business page for your clients
Facebook groups are an effective way of engaging with your clients. The user interface on Facebook is something many people are used to. Having a group of your own clients allows you to communicate to a warm audience easily and conveniently. Ask questions that generate conversation. Post on relevant current news stories that relate to your audience. Not only will you discover an array of knowledge from the questions that you ask, you’ll gain a great more knowledge holistically from observing your clients engage with each other. If you make your Facebook group an interesting, varied, current and active community, people will be happy to be a part of it. It also makes referrals easy if you allow your members to add others to the group themselves.
(3) Have a feedback form next to your phone for when you get new enquiries
This probably sounds super simplistic but it’s crazy that not enough people are recording where their leads come from. A simple enquiry form next to your phone is a priceless tool for your business. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple client, source and comments fields will be more than enough. Ask your new customers how they heard of you when they call. They will let you know and then you can record it in the source field. When people get talking, they may give you more information than you asked for. They might mention that the current customer that referred them to you really loved the way you went out to see them at their residence. Or maybe they found you through your website and loved a specific piece of copy or a blog post that resonated with them. This will allow you to build a pie chart of where your leads are coming from and where to focus your efforts in the future.
(4) Have a feedback page on your website
Many businesses lose potential clients without ever knowing. Or if they do know, they end up fiddling around with the site in a trial and error format that can cost time and money without efficient results. That’s why having a feedback form on your website comes in really handy. First the availability of a feedback form says you are always looking to improve and aren’t scared of a little critique. It’s a telling sign of a trustworthy business. If a potential customer isn’t finding the right information that they need, is struggling to navigate through your site, or doesn’t want to purchase online because they aren’t sure they can trust putting their credit card details into your shopping cart, they’ll tell you. People are much more used to giving critique than giving praise. It’s just how our brains are hardwired. But don’t fret! Not all feedback is negative. Maybe someone loves something you are doing right and just wants to let you know about their positive experience. You’ll never know if you don’t have the facility to gather this data.
(5) Call or visit your clients without an agenda
It’s amazing how just making people feel valued and important can make them open up. We are all working hard in our everyday lives. But in the current digital revolution where everything is done by text, email or online chat, people are longing for genuine human interaction. An impromptu call on Friday afternoon for a chat (everyone is happy on Friday afternoon!), request for a simple coffee catch up, or an impromptu visit when you are in the area can be a refreshing, human change to the daily grind. Your client may have been thinking of you for the last 6 weeks and your call or visit may be just the tonic they needed to take a break or convenient enough for them to take action on something you can help with.
Maybe you can have a sundowner at a central location or at the office every second month for your clients to stop by and enjoy a Friday evening drink. It’s a fantastic way to converse in a more casual manner and a fun way to relax with a beer or cocktail after a hard working week.
Make sure you ask your customers about their lives outside of work. Ask about their partners, their children, their hobbies. Get to know your customers and show them that you are genuinely interested in their well-being. This will flow back to trust and work when the time is right.
We need to know our customers. We need them to know that we want to know them. Making the avenues for feedback and interaction from the human perspective can be rewarding, fun and beneficial to all parties involved.
What techniques are you using to get to know your customers?