Understanding Customers is Essential to Retaining Them

by Bistriti Poddar |

Understanding Customers is Essential to Retaining Them

It’s very important to understand the motivation behind why customers choose a particular brand over others. Because if you get it right, not only will you sell more, you will retain your most valuable and profitable customers. Customer relationships are extremely valuable to your success. To create an ideal customer experience, understand what your existing customers and potential customers truly want. Understanding customer buying behavior is important because it helps you know what influences their purchasing decision, and assesses their likes and dislikes so that you can personalize your marketing efforts based on the findings.

Customer buying behavior studies look at what consumers buy, why do they buy, when do they buy, how often do they buy, for what reason do they buy, and the like.  Zero in on your most profitable and valuable customers and go on a journey of discovery about them. Learn everything you possibly can about them like what makes them tick, how do they measure success, what are their pain points or challenges, or how does your product or solution make their lives better?

What are some ways you can understand your customers?

  • By listening to the customer about their experiences through different channels. Understanding their expectations and identifying key drivers of a great customer experience are imperative.
  • Don’t just know what your customers are buying, find out why they are buying your products or services. Review shopping baskets and look for patterns and shopping frequencies.
  • Do research about your customers. Find out about the key personas that determine the various kinds of prospects so that you can align your marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Map their journeys to completely understand the state of the experience. Make a note of all the touch-points where your customers are present. This includes your business card, website, social media, your store front, reception area, call center, brochures, and so on. Is their experience with your brand seamless?

A customer centric brand that understands customer perceptions and aligns its marketing practices with expectations of what its customers want can dramatically increase customer loyalty, retention, sales and success. According to a recent report published by Deloitte, customer centric companies were found to be 60% more profitable than businesses which were not.

Here are some effective ways to understand your customer better:

  • An optimized customer experience is vital for customer retention. If you get it right, it can be a source of great customer insight. Engaging with customers in real-time is the next big thing and it’s becoming an ever more popular customer service channel. Tools like Drift allow you to talk to your customers while they browse your website. This helps in interacting with them, understanding them better and collecting data as well. However, nothing beats getting your customers on the phone on a regular basis because that can help you delve deeper into their pain points, needs and challenges. Focused customer surveys also help you get uninfluenced and impartial opinions of your customers that can act as valuable insights for customer service teams to assess and serve customers.
  • To better understand your customer, track their real time behavior specially identifying their preferences and likes and dislikes, predict their purchase patterns and track performance of email marketing campaigns through investing in an effective client retention software or customer relationship management tool.
  • IBM CEO Insights reports state that customers spend a minimum of 6 hours on social media. Hence it’s quite obvious that social media is indispensable when it comes to influencing the opinions of customers. It makes a lot of sense to strategically invest in social media in an effort to engage your target audience and understand them better. Be proactive in social media listening. Track and analyze what customers are saying about your brand across social channels.
  • A cornerstone of SEO, keyword research can ascertain what customers are interested in. It also helps to reveal the language they are using. Also, customer reviews can highlight common concerns and desires. Be attentive to these.
  • Never miss out on a potential sale! However, according to studies, 70% of your customers will leave the shopping cart without making a purchase. So, take action there. Have an exit-intent chatbot. It basically handholds your customer through the purchase process. It’s a good place to offer a small surprise like a discount or find out the reason why they want to exit for gaining insights.

Understanding your customers and building trust is key to helping ensure your brand is desirable. It’s important to make time to understand the needs and expectations of your customers.  This will ensure that your customer retention strategy is not only effective but can evolve as customer tastes and preferences change.

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