Automated tools and software systems
With a huge range of affordable business tools available today, there's no reason why every business should not be able to understand their customers based on the data they produce. Planning, marketing analytics
and customer relationship management systems are just some of the tools every business owner should seriously consider investing in.
Once these tools and systems are in place, you can easily look back at all of the transactions and interactions that have taken place and learn a lot more about the people you and your business deal with. Go online
The internet has changed the way huge numbers of businesses operate, how business is conducted and how customers interact with a business. Online reviews, in particular, are a great way to get a deeper insight into what customers and shoppers think.
Everyone has an opinion about a product or service they have purchased and many of these people are not shy about airing their views online when it comes to their buying experiences. Consistently checking online customer reviews
made by your customers and customers of similar businesses to yours is a worthwhile exercise that has the potential to improve the way you do business. Customer engagement and employee training
Employees who interact directly with your customers and shoppers are in the best position to find out exactly what these people want from your business. This is why it's essential to provide excellent customer support and communication training for everyone that has a customer-facing role in your company. Typical situations where your employees can increase their knowledge of your customers include trade shows, in your store, at conferences or online through email, social media or any online help facilities you have set up. Surveys and questionnaires
If carried out properly, conducting surveys
and asking customers to fill out questionnaires are two extremely powerful ways to extract important information out of your customers. This is an exercise customers can complete when they deal directly with your business and these methods can also be used online, without your customers ever having to call to your business in person.
If you're a South African business owner or decision-maker who is not looking for ways to find out as much as possible about your customers, you're making a big mistake. The information gathering strategies mentioned above are relatively easy to introduce into a modern business and the results you get from this type of exercise have the potential to benefit your organisation in ways you may not have believed were possible.