When you start a business, there is nothing more fulfilling than your first sale. You’ve successfully convinced someone, somewhere, that they need what you offer (and at your price). But do you know why?
If you’re using analytics software, you might be able to track the path of their purchase. Maybe it came from a social media ad or press inclusion. You may know the source to attribute the sale to, but do you know what factors impacted the final buying decision?
Was it motivated by circumstance? Was it a reward or gift for a milestone? Could it be something even more practical or totally unexpected?
The Power of Customer Insight
Many small business owners play the guessing game. They’ll say “Okay, that Facebook ad worked so let’s run another (and another and another)!” They’ll replicate the composition and demographic information and think “I really have it dialed in.” The reliance shifts from your unique value proposition to the accessory platform you use.
“It’s not about finding new leads to eventually convert. It’s about discovery – what makes your current customers tick.”
But what would happen if that network didn’t exist? How would you sell? Here’s where customer feedback comes into play (and why it has been relevant for years).
People who’ve purchased your products or services are your best source of information. Smart marketers and businesses use them to amend target profiles (or even recreate them based on findings). This is your back end pipeline. It’s not about finding new leads to eventually convert. It’s about discovery – what makes your current customers tick.
What Works and Why?
It’s not about just knowing what works, but why it works. This allows you to replicate and scale everything from products to brand experiences. And here’s the best part: updates are way less stressful than sales calls.
For instance, when you have an e-commerce platform, it’s easy to get comfortable behind the screen. After all, you have email and live chat services that keep you typing away. But actually picking up the phone can be a doozy for the business owner that hasn’t used that modality to connect with customers.
“The clarity you receive when you think outside of the box—that eureka moment or occasional breakthrough—is nothing compared to when you consult a legitimate resource.”
We’re used to tweeting back or replying to a Facebook comment. So, when the interface changes the nerves shoot up. But again, another great thing is that they’ve already done business with you. All you need to know is if their experience is matching your proposition (and if it’s not, how you can make it better). That is invaluable, especially for a business that is small enough to pivot and adjust to demand.
This can impact anything from website navigation and design to product development and delivery. Where are you most efficient? Where can you improve? If you only discuss these things internally, you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. The clarity you receive when you think outside of the box—that eureka moment or occasional breakthrough—is nothing compared to when you consult a legitimate resource.
The key here is working smarter, not harder.
Instead of creating a focus group of hypothetical customers or prospective leads, you have the real deal. And they’re only one call away. Don’t neglect your greatest resource. After all, they’ve already put their money where their mouth is. Why not let them tell you why?
This article has been edited and condensed.
Thierry Augustin is a digital brand strategist based in New York City. He helps growing business strengthen their brand and target their audience to be more effective in the online marketplace. Connect with @taugustin_ on Twitter.
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