As we wave a fond farewell to summer and the warm weather-related purchasing patterns of your customers, it’s time to focus on more targeted, measured approaches to get to know your clientele better during business as usual.
Understanding your customers behaviors will better help you increase business as well as maintain and strengthen their loyalty, and earn word-of-mouth referrals in the process.
There are a several tried-and-true methods to better understand your regular (and potential) customer patterns:
- Focus Groups. These are intimate gatherings of customers or prospects – typically no more than 10 or 12 people who can provide quality research. Through focus groups, you hear the “voice of the customer” directly giving you insight to their views of your business. Focus groups can be costly if done through an outside vendor, but it also is something you could host yourself at your business, possibly before or after hours, Make sure to include a diverse mix of customers and provide incentives, including refreshments.
- Phone Surveys. This will require time and resources on your part as you will need devoted manpower to conduct these surveys. But this is a chance to get a pulse on dozens – even hundreds – of customers, who can provide quantitative research about your product or service. Make sure you have your customers’ approval to contact them before delving into questions.
- Web Surveys. By now, you have established your business website, complete with company information, a list of products and services, history, and promotional pieces to point customers to your site and incentives for them to visit your store, such as coupons and discounts. Why not include a quick, five questions survey on the site as well? And don’t forget the open-ended question, asking customers for their feedback.
- Industry Research. What else is happening in your field? Find out through already gathered information online. This info can include available documentation, industry polls, and data from your local chamber of commerce.
We’ll delve deeper into each of these research tools in the near future to help you better market your small business. Watch for them in upcoming blogs.
So, get to know your customers better through their habits and hobbies and your small business can come out ahead. Another way to come out ahead is to turn to Biz2Credit for all your small business refinancing. Call us at (800) 200-5678, or visit us at www.biz2credit.com.