Now you know why you need to connect with your customers and understand what drives their behavior. So, how do you get this information? When you’re sitting in front of a customer or talking to them on the phone what should you ask?
Generally, I advise my clients to focus on answering 4 questions. These questions will help you guide conversations and get the gold from your customers. These questions will help you get a better picture of what drives your customers outside of their transactions and calls to customer service (hint, this is a great way to get information for your acquisition campaigns).
PSYCHOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION QUESTIONS
The answers to these questions will put you on the path to connect customers with your business and help you create “hooks” for your products.
What do our customers value in their lives?
What are our customers passionate about?
How does our product and company make our customers’ lives better?
How can we deliver value for our ideal customers in a way that’s better than our competition?
These are basic questions but, undeniably, big, hairy questions that will take time and effort to answer.
HOW DO WE GET OUR HANDS ON THIS FUZZY DATA?
Multiple sources of information will give you a more holistic view of your customers and make your psychographic segmentation better.
There are lots of options to get this information (yep, all require an investment in time or cash – no shortcuts here, sorry but the data you get is good, and will make you feel like you’ve hit paydirt).
Talk To Your Customers
They don’t bite (much). Set up interviews with your customers and ask them about what they want but aren’t getting from you.
This is better than sending a survey and the only honest to goodness way to identify gaps between what your customers want and what you offer.
Tap The Google
Odds are good that Google knows more about your customers than the IRS or NSA.
Ask your Google AdWords reps for help to figure out what other products and services your customers are interested in. Here’s a real-world example: Customers who purchase home security systems also like camping, collecting and drinking wine and buy tons of office supplies. Seems random, but this information provided a ton of insight when combined with other information and gave my team ideas for getting potential customers’ attention.
Buy Customer Data
Companies like Experian specialize in providing customer data. American Express also offers services like this, but services from either of these companies aren’t cheap.
While we’re on the subject of cash, you could even outsource this whole segmentation project to a consulting mega-conglomerate but most companies don’t have the cash to invest in a large firm. Honestly, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post if you did.
Monitor Social Media
Find out who your customers follow and interact within different social media channels and pay attention to what they talk about, why they complain and the things they love.
Using free or even paid tools to monitor customers and competitors (there are some great insight products out there in a variety of price ranges starting with RivalIQ who is good for inexpensive, basic intel and monitoring, and Sysymos if you need more detailed information).
Create A Customer Advisory Board (CAB)
Organize a board filled with your ideal customers and meet with them on a regular basis (real world or virtually depending on your budget). This could be a literal treasure trove of information, just remember to respect your customer’s time and make them feel special when they accept your invitation to join the board.
Companies like Adobe, Oracle and Method lean on their customers for information about their products, services, customer frustrations and even enlist them for beta testing. How do I know? I’ve been a member of CAB’s for all of these companies.
Getting warm and fuzzy data on your customers doesn’t have to break the bank and the information that you get from your ideal customers can change your entire marketing strategy.
It’s vitally important to understand customer behavior, but more importantly, why they behave the way they do.