Executive Takeover: 4 steps to get to know your customers

You have to be very clear what your company is offering out to the public and you need to understand what your long-term goals are. Only then can you truly get to know your customers. It is important to know ‘who you are’ as there is no point knowing who your customers are if there is a disconnect between what you are providing and what they are wanting, especially if their needs are very different. Understanding your customer is essential to your business’ success. Once you have established your goals, now you turn your attention to your customers. What follows are four simple ways of engaging with your customers and satisfying their requirements as well as your commercial needs.

1. Engage with them socially
Social media, in the form of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are powerful and cost-effective ways of communicating with your chosen target audience. By communicating with them on a wide-reaching platform and engaging with them out of business hours can start to get real feel for what your customer base expects and needs.

2. Talk to them.
Customers are people first and foremost, as such they will respond most positively when spoken to with respect and openness. Like any interaction between two parties, the best approach is to understand their requirements whilst making your position explicitly clear. This can only occur when there is clear and concise communication. Don’t be aloof and don’t give the impression are you don’t care about them. Just talk.

3. Manage their expectations
Listen, listen, listen. Your customer and their requirements are everything. They come to you wanting a specific item or service and if you fail to manage their expectations you fail to offer customer service that could make a difference between them using you and a competitor. Sometimes this may not always be possible, but if you take the point above you can navigate out of any sticky situations.

4. Go where they are.
It’s very easy to get caught in standing behind the glass waiting customers to walk through the shop door. This however can prove to be risky strategy as potential customers are not always walking past your shopfront. By looking where your target customers are and by visiting them on their “stomping ground” you will be able to engage with potential new customers in their environment, and one where they will feel comfortable and non-threatened. You will come out looking approachable, not overly commercial and willing to go that extra mile for them.

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