Customers are one of the most important stakeholders of any business. Without them, a business wouldn't exist.
Engaging with your customers is great for your company in helping to understand their needs and requirements whilst at the same time allowing for more personalised sales and marketing engagement. The more engagement you have, the more successful your business will become.
Here are some KURO tips on how to put customers at the heart of your business:
1. Take an interest
One of the easiest and most effective ways is simply taking an interest in the customer and their needs from the outset. Doing this allows you to reach out in an authentic and thoughtful way. Companies must understand their customers in order to offer a high quality service. This is invaluable as it helps you to gain insight into what aspects of your business currently meet specific customer needs or what in turn you could look to develop to fulfil these requirements.
You can do this in a number of ways:
Meet them in person to check in and see what their biggest challenges are
Create a survey and then use the data to implement necessary changes
Put a quick poll on social media or after an order to gain feedback
Ask a couple of questions when following up with customers to track customer satisfaction
You can then use all this data to make better decisions and help create value for your customers.
2. Create added value
At the very heart of customer loyalty is value. Value in the sense of what are you providing that meets a specific need or requirement for your customer. Value isn't about giving away something for free or being the cheapest in the market. It is about giving customers what they want and something which makes them return.
The best way to build value is to look at your customer engagement not as a single transaction, but an ongoing conversation.
3. Turn customers into advocates
Customers want to feel appreciated. If you can show that you notice and care about their needs or experience then you can turn a customer into a brand advocate, one who not only understands the value you bring to them but is also likey to recommend to others.
The key is to be genuine and authentic. Celebrate your customers by highlighting successes, promoting them on your social media, creating a case study, co-creating content or offering them a discount. Not only does this make them feel like they’re appreciated, but also fosters long term loyalty.
4. Lead with content
Content is everything a customer see's or hear's about your business. Businesses should look to lead with content, not just their products. Content should show how you can address their needs but at the same time is genuinely useful to your customers. Most content marketing efforts fail. Because in most instances they start with an internal view on what to do. Content marketing that works is based on understanding the customer and engaging effectively with them.
A good example is Marketo, a provider of marketing automation software, here they promote a comprehensive set of resources to help marketers understand areas like email marketing and marketing metrics. Instead of selling its platforms, Marketo looks to create value through helping its customers and thereby position itself as the go to provider for marketing automation solutions.
5. Plan for the future
Whilst being focused on the here and now, it is just as important to look ahead and plan for future customer engagement. This puts customers right at the heart of business decisions and encourages teams to get into a 'customer first' frame of mind helping you to respond more effectively to customers needs.
Customer data at qualititive and quantitive level can help you to identify trends that can inform decision making. Looking at this type of data highlights what your customer values, and what they didn't. It provides you with a great opportunity to get customers involved through the process whether this be through focus groups, workshops or surveys to help inform and shape future developments.
Understanding your customers is an extremely important part of engagement. Businesses that place the customer at the heart of what they do, tend to be the ones we talk or hear about.
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