Wrapping your head around who your customer is can be daunting. Knowing what you think they need is often different from what they know they need. A lot of small business owners blindly market their product according to there own assumptions about their customers, which more often than not can lead to a waste of time and resources. I’m surprised how complacent and seemingly indifferent some businesses are with their customer base. A business that has fundamental questions about their customer, I believe, is a business that isn’t serious about being profitable.
Reading minds is pointless. Want to know what your customers are thinking?
- Ask them. There’s no room for timidness here. User surveys, online polls, or any time you have any engagement with your customers, don’t hesitate to ask penetrating questions. “How can we improve our service? If you could have one problem solved, what would it be? What other needs do you have? ” Asking direct questions like these not only shed light on your customers, but also show your users how committed you are to meeting their needs.
- Go to where they are online. Social media is a goldmine for learning more about customers. Every niche imaginable has some sort of presence online where users praise or berate products. Facebook, Google +, twitter, etc… there’s ample places you can explore to learn more. And don’t hesitate to be a part of these conversations either, again, it shows dedication to their needs.
Discovering who you customer is will be an ongoing process, and could very well evolve over time as well. Who they are today, may not be who they are tomorrow. And accordingly, the services and products you offer today, may not be the same you offer in the future. Regardless, understanding your customer base will always be critical to your success.