After all, no matter the industry or the niche, no business can be successful without its customers. And by knowing them well, a brand can better address customers’ pain points with its products and services. The brand can also know what interests its customers and where they spend their time, and develop a better understanding of what drives them to choose a business — and to keep coming back.
Dig deeper, and the numbers shed even more light on the importance of knowing your customers well. Consider these statistics related to brands’ customer knowledge:
– Nearly two-thirds of consumers expect businesses they work with to understand their unique needs.
– Consumers are willing to pay more for positive experiences with brands.
– Businesses that place a strong focus on their customers report 60% higher profits than businesses that don’t.
6 ways to deepen your customer knowledge
So just what can your outdoor brand do to learn more about the people who hold the keys to your long-term success in their hands? Consider these six effective answers to the “how to know your customer” question:
1. Talk with them directly
When it comes to getting to know your customers better and understanding customer needs, nothing can beat the old-fashioned way: face-to-face conversations and interactions. So whether it’s during a customer’s visit to your outdoor brand’s brick-and-mortar store, during an appointment or meeting with a client, at an event your brand is hosting or anywhere else, if you get the opportunity to talk with your customer in person, seize it! Without taking up too much of your customer’s time, ask questions that help you learn more about your customer’s needs, how well your brand and its offerings are meeting them, any pain points they may be experiencing with your products and/or services, what you could do better, etc. Having the conversation will not only give you a chance to gain first-person insights about your outdoor brand and its offerings, but it will also show the customers that you care about how your brand is performing for them and what they think about it.
2. Send surveys
Especially when sent in the wake of a purchase, surveys offer an easy way for your outdoor brand to get fast, direct and honest feedback from customers about your business and the products/services it provides. When creating your surveys, put some careful thought into the questions you’d like to pose, and try to focus on the things you’d most like to get customer opinions on. These often include topics such as the quality of your products and services, as well as the consumer’s perception of customer experience. Also keep in mind that, while “yes or no” questions may be the best approach to take for some of your queries, asking open-ended questions such as “How can we improve our product(s)?” and “What can we do to better serve you?” will often spur more honest answers and added consumer insights.
3. Get social
Your brand’s social media channels offer a great way to share info about your brand and its products/services with consumers. But they can also provide you with an avenue for performing market research and learning more about your customers and their interests. Doing both of the latter can be as simple as reviewing the profiles and timelines of your brand’s existing customers/followers to see what they’ve posted, what makes them tick and what other brands they may be following. In addition, by using social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social, your brand can keep an ear out for what consumers are saying about your brand on social media, along with what they’re saying about your industry and competitors. Knowing this info can help you keep a finger on the pulse of consumer sentiment, plus help you react more quickly in any cases where you need to protect your brand’s reputation.
4. Host an event
By hosting an event, your brand can introduce itself to the (local or interest-based) community while gaining exposure for your business, showcasing your brand’s value, and meeting some of your customers and prospects in person for face-to-face conversations and personal connections. Whether you throw a party, present a class, host a workshop or organize another type of event, make sure the attendees have an opportunity to ask questions about your brands and its offerings — and that you have a chance to field feedback from attendees. If your brand doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, consider renting a space in a target-market area or organizing a webinar and inviting prospective customers to join.
5. Read (and respond to) reviews
Whether they’re positive or negative, your reviews provide you with a chance to learn how consumers perceive your outdoor brand, your products and services, and the customer experience you deliver. Of course, some consumers simply can’t be pleased and will never offer any positive feedback about anything — but that doesn’t mean you should write off all negative reviews. Some can genuinely help you understand any shortcomings that may be hindering your company’s success. And positive reviews, on the other hand, can shed light on the things that your brand is doing right and should strive to maintain. Either way, responding to your brand’s reviews in a professional and respectful manner — whether the review is positive or negative — can demonstrate your commitment to pleasing customers and resolving any issues they may have, all while humanizing the brand and helping you build trust among consumers.
6. Invest in analytics
In today’s digitally-driven business world, most businesses can leverage a broad collection of data about their customers and potential customers from their own websites. By tapping into analytics tools like Google Analytics, your outdoor brand can gather valuable information on the traffic that visits its website, such as visitors’ geographic locations, the search term(s) used to find your website, the sites they came from to visit your site, the pages they’ve visited the most (as well as the products or services they’ve exhibited the most interest in), and the pages where they most often leave your site, just to name a few. By collecting and carefully analyzing this data, your brand can gain insights about your visitors’ habits, preferences and behaviors — and put them to use growing your brand and building more success.
Need expert help assessing the analytics and diving into the data needed to develop a deeper understanding of your outdoor brand’s customers? At TBA Outdoors, research is one of our specialties — and we’re here to help with perception and awareness research, conjoint analysis, product/service viability testing, ethnographic research, audience analysis, customer behavior research, focus groups and more. Further, as part of a fully integrated marketing firm, we can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs … all in one place. Whether you’re looking for help in areas ranging from branding strategy and research to analytics, creative, social media, e-commerce, public relations, video production and more, we can deliver it.
To explore how we can help your outdoor brand amplify the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns and lots more, reach out to our team of outdoors-obsessed marketing pros today.