It’s one thing to attract a lot of window shoppers and quite another to gain many new customers. It all comes down to how customer-centric the marketing campaign is when determining its success.
What defines a customer-centric company?
A business that centers itself around serving the customer personalises its messages as much as possible with content and products. Putting customers first is a concept that needs to go beyond marketing to the entire company. Whether they’re buying a product or resolving an issue with the customer service department, people like to feel that the company is providing special treatment it doesn’t give to just anyone.
A customer-centric business never starts selling products or services assuming someone will buy them. That is effectively telling customers what they need. Instead, companies with high customer retention rates crafts its message around known needs of the customer. Some airlines have learned this lesson the hard way when the flying public had no interest in paying higher ticket fees to cover the cost of amenities they never wanted in the first place.
By contrast, other companies are making gains by using digital transformation in an effort to better know their customers and understand their preferences.
Companies must understand their unique sales proposition
Every business must know what customers need from the company and why they buy from them instead of a competitor. This is the unique sales proposition (USP) of the business. The goal for the business is to be the only one that can provide the customer with what he or she needs.
Marketing professionals should keep in mind that it’s possible to have a different USP for different groups of customers. The important thing is that the USP serves the customer when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.
What should businesses know about customers?
The most essential thing to learn about any customer is who they are. While that doesn’t mean knowing their innermost thoughts, marketers should know the following if they hope to be effective:
- Education level
- Geographic location
- Income level
- Marital and family status
Other things to learn about customers’ intentions, dispositions and actions include:
- Reasons they buy a product or service
- What individuals do for work or the type of business for commercial customers
- Preferred shopping method, i.e., online, in person, or by mail
- Timing of purchases
- Their expectations
- What contributes to them feeling good about a purchase
- What they think about the company and its closest competitors
The best way to learn this information about customers is to simply talk to them. Ask questions before and after the purchase and follow up regularly to gain even more feedback. It could also be worthwhile to invest in marketing tools that allows tracking of customer activity across all platforms in a single location.
While the tactics of getting to know your customers might change over time, companies that remain focused on what the customer wants and not what the business wants will achieve the greatest success.