4 Ways to Better Understand the Needs of Your Customers
Startups often operate on the cutting-edge of innovation, usually with very thin margins and an element of risk. As such, it’s vitally important that you get to know your customer base, their needs, and what they expect from your company. Only then can you truly deliver and offer value, growing your business in the process.
#1 Conduct interviews (and take notes)
There are lots of analytical tools available online, but nothing beats the sheer simplicity of a face-to-face interview. Getting to know your clients not only fosters a friendly atmosphere but it gives you crucial insights into their customer demands. It is, however, equally important to record the information gathered in these interviews using efficient note taking. A massage therapy SOAP note example can give you an idea of what notes you should be taking.
Therapists use the SOAP method to delve deeply into their client’s needs. SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. It involves finding out what the client wants (subjective), recording measurable data (objective), assessment, and then the formulation of a plan. Startups can benefit from applying this methodology to their interviews.
#2 Leverage social media
After meeting people in person, social media is the best way to get to know your customer base. That’s partly because you can communicate directly via messages and comments, but there’s more. Social media business accounts give you access to unprecedented amounts of data. This includes everything from the ages of your followers to how long they spend online (and when they do it) – you’ll even be able to learn about their hobbies and their countries of origin. This is all vital information that builds up a coherent picture of your customer base. From there, it’s much easier to understand their needs and how to deliver value, both monetary and otherwise.
#3 Gather customer service data
All too often, customer service is considered just a problem-solving exercise. Customers encounter an issue, they reach out, and you solve the problem. The nature of those problems can tell you a lot about what your customers want from the business. If you receive a lot of queries or complaints about the payment process, then perhaps customers expect a more streamlined experience. If deliveries are frequently an issue, there might be work to do in that area. Rather than just solving problems and moving on, use customer service as a way to improve the business.
#4 Use surveys
It can be difficult to encourage customers to fill in surveys or deliver feedback, but you can sweeten the deal by offering incentives like vouchers or other offers. Surveys are invaluable because you can specify areas of interrogation. By choosing the survey questions, you ask customers about anything you like, gaining a truly in-depth look at their habits and needs. Better still, if you undertake a lot of surveys, you’ll be able to identify trends within the data. This makes a big difference as your business grows, identifying areas for potential improvement and focus.