consumer laughing

3 Quick Ways to Get to Know Your Customers Better (And Keep Return Business)

Tillie Demetriou
14 Apr 2023

Imagine you're in a crowded room trying to strike up a conversation with someone you've never met before. It can be tough to know where to start and what to say, right? 

Well, the same goes for businesses trying to connect with their customers. If you don't know who your customers are or what they want, it can be hard to create products and services that meet their needs.

That's why getting to know your customers is crucial in today's business world. By understanding what makes your customers tick, you can create experiences that leave them feeling happy, satisfied, and eager to come back for more. And in a world where customers have endless options, that's the kind of loyalty that can make or break a business.

In this article, we're going to explore 3 tips to know your customers better, which have been broken down into steps you could start implementing. Whether you're a small business owner or a marketing professional, these tips will help you build stronger relationships with your customers and grow your business. So, let's dive in!

Why it pays to be in the know

As a business owner or marketer, you might be wondering why it's so important to get to know your customers. Well, let's start with a few eye-opening stats:

  • 61% of customers would switch to a new brand after just one bad experience [1]

Ouch! That means if you're not meeting your customer's needs and expectations, you could be at risk of losing them to your competitors.

  • 71% of consumers switched brands at least once as their priorities, lifestyles, or financial situations changed [2]. 

That's a lot of brand hopping! If you're not staying up-to-date on your customers' changing needs and preferences, you could be missing out on opportunities to keep them happy and engaged.

  • 73% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations [3]

This means it's not enough to just offer a product or service - you need to tailor your offerings to meet the individual needs of each customer. 

So, why does all this matter? Simply put, getting to know your customers is key to building lasting relationships and growing your business. By understanding their needs, wants, and preferences, you can create experiences that leave them feeling valued and satisfied. And in today's competitive landscape, that's the kind of loyalty that can make all the difference.

Sign up to our newsletter

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.

1. Data-mine your way to customer insight

Getting to know your customers is essential for building lasting relationships and growing your business. One of the best ways to gain insights into your customer's behaviors and preferences is by mining your data. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Step 1. Collect your data

Whether you're a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, you likely have a wealth of data at your fingertips. Start by collecting your data from sources like:

  • Sales records
  • Website analytics
  • Customer surveys
  • Social media metrics
  • Loyalty programs

Step 2. Analyze your data

Once you have your data, it's time to analyze it and draw meaningful conclusions. Here are some questions to ask:

What products or services are selling well over the past 3-6 months? 

Extension questions: 

  • Why are they selling so well? Is it related to promotions you’ve run, general popular interest, pricing strategies, how the product or service is displayed, ease of purchasing, seasonality or limited availability, or something else? (Or a combination)

What products or services aren’t selling as well as you’d hope? 

Extension questions: 

  • How can you improve these products or services, by using what you’ve learned from products that are selling well?

When are customers most likely to make a purchase?

Extension questions: 

  • When is your business the busiest? What is the experience like for a customer during this time? What do you need to prepare for customers when this happens to make your business run smoothly? 
  • What can you do to upsell when it’s busy? 
  • How can you encourage more customers in non-peak times?

What factors influence customers' buying decisions?

Extension questions:

  • How many touch points do your customers go through before they make a purchase?
  • Can you make the purchasing process easier for customers?
  • How can you improve upon your product’s value proposition to attract more customers?
  • What can you do to improve your store experience for customers, and encourage repeat purchases?
  • How can you improve your targeted marketing campaigns? (Are you accurately targeting the right customers?)
  • Do you know what your competitors are doing to attract customers, and how effective is it?

How do customers interact with your website?

Extension questions:

  • How easy is it to use your website? Can you improve your website navigation, loading speed, and/or layout?
  • Can you add new or better quality product images or videos to attract customers?
  • Can you offer a variety of payment options, to accommodate more customer preferences?

What engagement are you getting on social media?

Extension questions:

  • What post types get the most engagement? (Views, likes, comments, messages, reviews) Does posting at different times affect engagement rates?
  • Are customers interacting in a positive way, or negative? How are you handling these interactions to get a positive outcome?
  • How can you grow your audience? Have you experimented with different tools and post ideas?

Step 3: Use your data to improve the customer experience

With the insights gained from your data, you can optimize your offerings and improve the customer experience. For example, you might:

  • Adjust your product mix based on customer demand
  • Offer promotions at peak purchasing times
  • Streamline your checkout process to reduce cart abandonment
  • Personalize your marketing and outreach efforts

TIP: Don't settle for guesswork when it comes to understanding your customers. Take your business to the next level with Epos Now's cloud-based POS system, and start unlocking the full potential of your data today!

Everything in one package

Our POS system enables you to adapt, gain new customers, increase profit and remain future proof.​

Request a Callback 

2. Step into your customers' shoes

As a business owner, it's important to understand your customers' needs and experiences to better serve them. Here are two ways to get into your customers' shoes:

Walk a mile in their shoes

Attending industry events and conferences is a great way to meet your target customers in person and gain valuable insights into their needs and preferences. 

For example, if you own a pet store, attend local dog shows or pet fairs to interact with pet owners and learn about their interests and concerns.By attending these events, you can observe firsthand how pet owners interact with their pets and what products they are interested in. 

It’s a great way to see what your target audience is looking for and get ideas on how you can expand your offerings or improve your promotions.

You can also strike up conversations with potential customers to learn more about their needs and preferences. This will give you objective feedback to work from, to give a better insight into your overall industry needs and trends. For instance, you may discover that many pet owners are interested in eco-friendly or natural pet products, which could influence the types of products you stock in your store.

Let's test that

Conducting user testing and asking for feedback on new products or features can provide valuable insights into what your customers really want. 

Let's say you own a nail salon. You could invite a small group of customers to test out a new nail polish line you're considering adding to your inventory. Offer them a free manicure in exchange for their honest feedback. This will not only give you insights into whether or not your customers are interested in the new line but also provide you with specific feedback on factors such as the quality of the product and the colors available.

Another way to conduct user testing is to ask for feedback on new features. For example, if you're a hotel with a spa, and considering adding a new massage or offering a new type of service, you could ask a select group of customers to test it out and provide their feedback. This will help you make informed decisions about whether or not to invest in the new feature and how to market it to your customers.

Remember, the key to successful user testing is to ask for honest and specific feedback and to use that feedback to improve your business and customer experience.

3. Get personal with your customers

If you want to create a loyal following and stand out from the competition, it's important to get personal with your customers. Here are two ways to do it:

Our survey says...

Conducting customer surveys, polls and feedback forms is an excellent way to gather feedback and opinions from your customers. Not only will it help you understand their needs and preferences, but if you action their suggestions, it will also show them that you value their input and are committed to providing the best possible experience.

Let's say you own a boutique clothing store. You could create a survey that asks customers about their shopping experience, including things like store layout, product selection, and customer service. You could also ask for feedback on new products or services you're considering adding to your inventory..

Our top tips for writing surveys are:

  • Start by defining your survey goal (AKA what you want to learn from the survey). Focus on a single problem per survey.
  • Keep surveys short. Don’t overload it with questions. The shorter the time it is to take a survey, the more likely you’ll receive more completed surveys.
  • Write clear, non-leading questions. Don’t use confusing terminology for abbreviations, and use neutral wording. Otherwise you’ll get biassed answers.
  • Create a sensible order for your questions.
  • Give options.  such as being able to skip questions, or using multiple choice answers (with a field to add comments). This will help make it quicker to complete!
  • Have a good outreach strategy. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to access and complete the survey.
  • Offer rewards. To make the survey more engaging, consider offering an incentive like a discount or a chance to win a prize for completing it.
  • ALWAYS follow up. Share what changes you’re making following the results of the survey, so customers know their input has been valued.

Be a social butterfly...

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your customers and building relationships. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to interact with customers, respond to their comments and questions, and share relevant and engaging content. Remember - it’s social media, not one-way media!

One critical area many businesses don’t invest in is an engagement plan in their social media strategy. By engaging with your customers on social media, you can create a more personal and authentic connection that will help you stand out from the competition.

Suppose you own a small café in the heart of the city. You could use social media to share behind-the-scenes photos and stories about your staff and the daily operations of your business. You could also ask your followers for feedback on new menu items or special promotions via social media polls. To make your content more interactive, consider hosting a social media contest where customers can submit their own photos of your café or their favorite menu items.

Customer is key: our final thoughts on getting to know your customers better

So there you have it, our top three tips for getting to know your customers better. By implementing these strategies, you'll be able to unlock the key to a customer experience that truly stands out!

Remember, understanding your customers is the key to creating a successful business. Customer preferences and expectations are always changing, so it's important to stay in tune with their needs. Whether it's through surveys, social media interactions, or putting yourself in their shoes, there are plenty of ways to get to know your customers better.

And if you're looking for a little extra help, consider investing in a cloud-based POS system like Epos Now. With detailed reports on your sales and customer data, you'll be able to make informed decisions that drive business growth and customer satisfaction.

So go ahead, put these tips into action, and show your customers that they are truly the key to your success. 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Speak to our team of experts about POS solutions today and streamline your operations!

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.