know your customers

by | Mar 15, 2012

If you are in business it can be assumed that you know your products inside out, but how well do you know your customers?

When you have real-world, physical business premises, you can get to know your customers by meeting them face-to-face. Assuming that you have time to interact with the customers, you will eventually learn what makes them tick and more importantly, why they choose to come to you. The same cannot be said of your online presence, so it is important to put yourself in the place of the customer and look at your online business from their point of view.

who are your customers?

  • Business-to-business?
  • Members of the general public?
  • Male or Female?
  • A specific section of society?

Once you have determined who your customers are, you can begin to get to know them and really understand what makes them tick. If you appreciate the things that are important to them and the goals they aspire to, you can begin to understand what problems they may have and where they may look to find solutions to those problems. You can ascertain whether your business provides solutions to your customers’ problems or enhances their lives with desirable products. The more knowledge you have, the more you are able to tailor your online presence and reach out to your customers. When customers believe you understand their needs, you will be the first company they turn to with their requirements.

whatever the needs of your customers, your website should be:

  • Welcoming
  • Attractive
  • Functional
  • Easy to navigate
  • Informative

try to look at your website through the eyes of a customer.

Rather than thinking, “it’s all about the product”, consider these questions:

  • Is the product or information easy to find?
  • How do you get it? (online/physical location/contact)
  • How easy is the whole experience?
  • Would you recommend it to a friend?

The last one is really quite important. It is apparent that sharing is the new “black” and everyone wants to tell their friends about it. Facebook was founded upon that premise and social media should form an integral part of your Internet presence. Sharing online is a very powerful tool, as the recommendations from our trusted friends always seem more credible than marketing messages from companies or brands.

Don’t be afraid to test your online content on your friends and family. They may think that that they are not qualified to comment, but everyone uses the Internet, not just experts. Often the opinion of a “non-expert” will be more akin to that of a new customer and give you valuable insight into how people interact with your site and its content. If the reaction you get is: “This is a nice place to shop” or “This is just what I need”, then you are on the right track.

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