5 ways to get to know your customer
Knowing what makes your customer tick is without a doubt one of the hardest (but the most critical) aspects of creating a successful business.
Intimately knowing your customer can positively impact every aspect of your business from where you sell your products, to the designs and materials you use, your product descriptions, and even your marketing pitches and copy. If you know what makes she (or he!) tick you can tap into their hopes and dreams to make what you have to sell irresistible to them. But, getting to know your customer does take time and effort and will be a continual process.
So where to start!??
1. Ask your existing customers!
A great source of information is your existing customer base (even if that is just friends and family who have bought from you or asked you to make something from them). Take any opportunity you can to understand why they bought from you; how they found you; which pieces and price points they like best and why; how your Jewellery makes them feel and even where else they shop so you can build up a good picture of who they are and what motivates them.
A good way to do this is to follow up with them post-sale and check on how they are getting on with their new Jewellery. Use the opportunity to enquire about how they found you (if appropriate), and if there was anything you could improve on in terms of the end-to-end transaction. It is a great way to open up the communication channels - your customers will feel valued and listened to and you can get some great Intel about your brand, your products and your customer service.
2. Use the power of technology!
There is a wealth of freely available information if you know where to look! Here are just a few ways you can do some stealth customer research!
a. Keyword research
Spending time using Google Adwords (and even Google Image Search) is a great way to understand what search terms your customers are using to shop. You will want to spend a bit of time doing this as the outcome of our research can really lift your product titles and descriptions. The service is free so do get in there and see what the top search terms are. You will probably want to focus on the slightly smaller search terms as the big brands will have the top ones sewn up, but even if 5000 people are searching for a keyword per month that is a large volume of potential customers for a small business to tap into. If you sell on Etsy, try promoting listings even for a week as you get data on what search terms your customers are using to find you on Etsy which will help you refine your tags, titles and product descriptions.
b. The Power of Facebook
It is absolutely scary how much data you can get about your customers on Facebook. If you have a business Facebook page with more than 100 likes you get access to a fantastic suite of tools and audience insights. From your basic page insights you will see a lot of information about the demographics of your fan base including age, sex, location, language which can help you narrow down your target market.
And finally, when you are feeling brave enough venture into Facebook Ads Manager. There is a section called audience insights and really can help you build a picture of your target audience and what blogs they read, films they watch, where they shop, their demographics and even what devices they use online to help you build a picture of how technology savvy they are! Have a play and see what you can find out!
c. Social Media
It is also worth looking at people who follow you on Facebook and check out their profile to see what other brands and pages they like and follow as this can helps build a picture of who they are. It also gives you a list of brands to target in Facebook ads later on down the line.
You can also use your Facebook page or other social media platforms which as Instagram to share new products and ask for feedback, ask for feedback on what stones and materials they want you to use and what they want to see more or less of. It is a nice way to improve your organic reach and engage your customers!
d. Surveys and Reviews
Consider building a post-sales survey into your sales process and look at customer reviews to see what your customers thought of the end to end process. You can get valuable insight as to what is important to your customers.
Also make use of your email list (if you have one) and do surveys to them with special discount codes or rewards for taking part. If you ask the right questions you will get some fantastic insight into your customers. Survey monkey is a great a free tool to use for creating and sending out surveys to customers online through your email list.
3. Get into their head
Once you have some insight into your target market, through social media, customer research and speaking to previous clients, it is time to dig deeper. Building a customer persona is a great way to really get into the head of your customers and understand what makes them tick. A great way to do this is to build a (private!) Pinterest board where you can build a visual picture of your target customer. What age is she (or he?), is she married, with or without children, what does she wear, what does she read and watch on TV, where does she shop? Then it’s time to really dig deep - you want to get to know her as intimately as you know your best friend. What are her biggest hopes, dreams and fears? I like to give my personas a name and her husband and children names and ages. And I even flesh out a daily routine for her so I know what she does day to day. Then I use this insight to feed into everything from my designs to my marketing messages. I talk directly to her. That’s not to say someone who is not my target customer won’t ever buy from me, but I am focusing all my efforts on speaking directly to my ideal customer who loves what I do and make, each and every time I engage with them.
4. Look at who is already operating in your target market
I recommend spending some time researching the market you operate (or hope to operate in). This isn't so that you can copy them - if fact I would never recommend copying another designer! Finding your own unique selling point is how you differentiate yourself, even if your product line and target market might be similar.
Use Google Search and Image search to identify who are your competitors and doppelgängers. How do they reach and engage with their customers? What do you think they are doing really well (or not so well)? Seeing what others are doing can really help you pinpoint how you want to operate and help you identify areas where you can set yourself apart from the competition.
5. Get in front of your customers
You may have decided that selling online is the way you want to primarily sell to your customers and that markets aren't for you. But, getting in front of your customers is a great way to really get to know your customers and what they want from you and your brand. I would recommend doing at least a few targeted face-to-face selling events each year as it is a great way to watch and observe your customers behaviour at your stand. Which pieces are they immediately drawn to and which ones do they buy? What price points sell the best? Which pieces to they want to pick up and touch? You can use the opportunity to chat to and engage your customers and ask them about what they like, don’t like and find out more about them but chatting face to face. Listen to what language they use to describe your work - this can be hugely valuable as you can replicate that language in your product titles and descriptions.
For more help and support in starting and growing your dream Jewellery brand I hope you will join me for a FREE 3 part video series where I help you define and shape the Jewellery business of your dreams so you are set up for success!
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Until next time!