It’s been said that most lost business is due to a lack of follow-up. That check-in email, phone call, or even mailer, can be the difference between a customer that returns and one that is in the wind.
As a marketer, it’s about staying top of mind. But how do you get there? It starts with knowing what and how your customer thinks as it relates to your business.
When it comes to making a lasting impression, you want to know two things:
How your customer found you and;
Why they decided to buy.
Without these two answers, you’re doing business blind, and a business with no clarity cannot survive (or thrive). These questions can help determine where you allocate budgets, what networks your activate, and even your product development cycle.
The Trail To Success Includes This
Customers are not just numbers we assign on our back-end. They are real people with real circumstances that influence who they interact with, where they go and what they buy. As small business owners, your job is to maximize engagement with every single customer so you give your business what every successful business has: direction.
Knowing how your customer found you and why they chose to buy are the bread crumbs along that proverbial trail to success. Customer feedback allows you to test an already active market of people who’ve gone from prospect to purchaser.
Along the buying cycle, they’ve made the discovery and then the decision to invest in your brand. These two points not only inform you of how to attract more people like them to buy your product or service, but also teaches you what factors helped you close.
Maybe it was a matter of utility, your product being the most useful to their lifestyle. Or maybe it was one of design, your product being the most aesthetically attractive among potential competitors; or your service being the most simple to navigate and apply. Or maybe it was a deliberation about value and your offering gave them the “most bang for their buck”. Again, what you don’t know can hurt your business.
Are You Listening to Customers?
Businesses can grow or grow stale. One of the ways to avoid stagnation is to constantly inquire about these two questions. As your customer base increases, you’ll have a wider range of responses and the aggregate will delineate what you should focus on.
In product development, there’s this question about whether to focus on a core offering or differentiate to reach a broader market. I say listen to your customers. Expanding offerings goes with the territory. If your customer landscape is best suited for a path with no offshoots or divergents, then gladly occupy that lane.
There is a lot of value in knowing both what you customer has been exposed to and what they’ve bought into. Their feedback makes growth not only a manageable task, but a welcome one, because satisfaction (if things are executed well) is nearly guaranteed.
Instead of throwing customers a curveball (releasing a product that they neither associate with your brand or are in need of), stay ahead of the curve by knowing how they got to where they are. Most of the time, this information will tell you what to expect next. And what to produce.
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.