Customers are the most important people in your own business.
Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this question: what would you do if you didn’t have a customer in your business. How would it look like?
That’s right. You wouldn’t have a business.
Because if you don’t have customers – there’s no value you’re bringing to the marketplace. And you have no money to support your business.
Over the years working as a marketer, I’ve learned the ways how I can understand my customers better, go beyond what they tell me, and figure out ways I can be helping them achieve their desires.
As a result – we increase our sales. So, here are 6 ways of understanding your customers better.
1. Don’t assume you know them.
This is the beginning of it all.
I’m Lithuanian and because I’m a foreigner advertising to most American women – I don’t pretend I know how they think, what their desires are, or how they behave.
This is one of the reasons why I think I’m a much better marketer than my American counterparts.
I don’t make any assumptions. Because I’m sure I’ll fail.
Instead, I make sure to do thorough research on my customers, clarifying all of the questions I have, and making sure I answer them.
2. Read their reviews, see where they hang out at.
If no assumptions are made – this is where I begin.
Going to Reddit, amazon reviews, our own customer reviews, and noting everything down.
What words are they using to describe their current problems? What do they fear? What are their desires? How do they describe these desires?
At the agency, we have a process called “copy mining” where we create a massive database of desires, pain points, objections and quantify them to make sure we’re focusing on the right ones.
Whichever way you use is fine – as long as you do this.
3. Survey your current customers.
This is something that most brands/marketers do.
Here are some of the questions you could be asking your customers:
“What’s the no. 1 problem you’re facing when it comes to X?”. This question is the best one to reveal their pain points & we usually get awesome stories we can tell in our ads.
“What would you do if you were the CEO of our company?”. It’s an awesome question to understand what we’re NOT doing right now. We usually get suggestions on which platforms we should advertise on, what new products we should be focusing on creating, and a lot more.
“What’s the no. 1 reason why you bought our products?”. This will tell you what got them through the doors, which means you can double down on it!
4. Talk to your customer service team.
The customer service team knows your customers the best.
They are responding to countless messages every day on social, emails… All of the complaints go through them, occasional success stories.
If you’re not reading their tickets – you’re missing out.
In our companies, we try to involve our customer service teams in major marketing decisions to cross-check on how our customers will be responding to the promotions we’re going to have or cover our blind spots.
5. Call your customers up.
Reading online reviews, and creating surveys can only get you this far…
There are so many things that you can pick up when you’re on the phone. And you can ask the same exact questions as in your survey… The advantage on the way though is – you can pick up on subtle cues.
Language pattern, stories they are telling, and you have a massive advantage of asking clarifying questions like “Why?”.
They’ll reveal far more than you expected.
Don’t hesitate. Pick up the phone.
6. Watch the TV shows they’re watching.
I usually watch shows that I’m interested in.
Sherlock Holmes, Billions, Mad Men… But these shows are not the ones my customers are watching. So I’ve recently surveyed our customers on what shows they’re watching and started watching “Emily in Paris”.
Not only did I understand my customer better, but I also understood 1. How they consume media 2. Why they choose one brand over another 3. Their deepest desires and fears.
In fact, I believe screenwriters are even more tuned-into their customers than marketers are.
Go and watch the show.
7. Live with them.
Ok. This one is certainly not regular advice and not every one of you can execute upon.
Because I don’t assume anything and try to understand my customer to the best of my ability – whenever I visit the US (which I do every 3 months), I try not to close myself in a hotel room and be on my own.
I usually ask our business partners (who are usually our ideal customers) to stay with them to pick up on their habits, see how they consume media, what they’re watching on Netflix, how they talk in the family surroundings.
I’m always fascinated by how much I’m learning about the culture and how different it is from where I grew up.
8. Create a community surrounding your brand.
We’ve done it with every single client of ours.
It’s been a game-changer. Not only do we get to create tight communities surrounding our brands – but we can also participate in every conversation they’re in.
And by doing that, we’re getting into our customers’ lives day by day. Understanding their deepest desires, and thinking of the ways of fulfilling them.
I’d have to add to it all. It’s not a short process. In order to understand your customers, you really need to invest time, energy… And go off your path.
Don’t forget – your customer isn’t you. They have their own fears, desires & your job as a marketer/business owner is to fulfill them.
Ultimately, that’s what business is all about.
Fulfilling your customers’ dreams.