Legendary Hall of Fame and Yankees player Yogi Berra once said, “You can see a lot by looking.” In addition to the humor, there is also a lot of truth to the statement. As marketers, we must always pay attention to our customer – their habits, behavior, and feedback serve as a benchmark to measure the strength of your company’s relationship with your customers.
And if you’re not looking at your customers, someone else, probably your competition, is.
One way to understand customer metrics is to compare them to driving a car. A lot happens when you’re behind the wheel: you keep track of vehicle measurements such as speed, engine temperature, and fuel level, as well as observe traffic and road conditions. There is no justification for not bringing the same amount of traceability to your customers.
So how can marketers turn Berra’s joke into a call to action?
The most basic criteria are revenue and profitability. If these two are climbing, who cares? Simply put, the faster these numbers go up… they can also go down. Customer preferences can change in the blink of an eye… and if a company is taken by surprise, next month’s sales results won’t look so optimistic.
Understanding your customers can help you identify early warning signs before sales plummet and identify trends that can lead to new areas of growth and opportunity.
Here are five steps marketers can take.
Continuously monitor customer activity
Marketers should always review customer information. Metrics have quickly become the lifeblood of marketing, and modern measurement tools make it much easier than ever to provide more effective real-time analytics.
When entering data, you should look at the primary results while looking at the secondary information:
- Primary data refers to total sales, best-selling products/services, revenue generated, and main channel source.
- Secondary information can provide information on regions, time of day, customer type, purchase volume, breakdown by product category, and price levels.
What are some of the most effective ways to get customer information? A robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system like Salesforce is one of the best tools available. In addition to capturing customer contact information, a CRM solution also allows you to analyze detailed data and find common topics.
You can get feedback from your customers in several ways. Surveys may be one of the most used vehicles, but companies need to go beyond just scratching the surface of customer information.
Customer preferences can change in an instant, and accurately measuring customer behavior can sometimes feel like gluing jelly to the wall. But if you ask the right questions and use the right return vehicle, you will have a clear vision.
Marketers are always looking for influencers who can help attract new customers. Your top influencers are probably right in front of you. Satisfied customers are sometimes your bestseller, and building relationships with them can lead to strong word of mouth, leading to higher overall sales.
Cultivating and nurturing customer relationships is an important step in retaining and nurturing evangelists. It sounds like a simple idea, but it requires a lot of effort from the entire company. However, the rewards can be incredible.
Measure twice, cut once!
Experienced carpenters and woodworkers follow the mantra of measuring everything twice before cutting the wood because once the saw has cut the wood, there is no going back.
Determining which option you prefer is a short version of A/B testing. In this case, the marketing department is the customer. You can narrow it down to two projects and test it on different external customer segments to determine which response is stronger.
Understand the communication channels
It’s a multichannel world. And the better you understand how your customers treat you, the more effective your marketing campaigns will be. Customers don’t get their information from a single communication silo; they get it from a variety of sources, including social media, websites, emails, radio, search engines, and TV ads. Knowing how your customers use each for information will help you harness the power of each channel.
A customer with a bad experience might go to Facebook and complain to you and the rest of your followers. Engaging with Facebook can help you quickly help the customer and show others that you are a listening, problem-solving, and customer appreciation business. As a result, you build trust in your brand, maintain your loyalty, and attract new customers.
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As a marketer, you need to know your customers. They are more than just entries in a spreadsheet. Everyone has needs and everyone has decided that their business can meet their needs. Understanding and managing the customer perception process will help your business grow. If you don’t, you will definitely compete and take away these valuable customers.