Getting to know your customers seems like an obvious thing to do when you’re in business. But getting to know them beyond the periphery of their favorite color and name will ultimately benefit you. By familiarizing yourself with products they’d like you to carry, offering special perks, and sending surveys, you garner specific and valuable customer insight.
Business owners can celebrate clients by recognizing National Get to Know Your Customers Day every third Thursday of January, April, July, September, and December. The quarterly recognition is an opportunity to do something special while also discovering excellent customer data to build your business and better your customer service.
Five Great Ways to Get to Know Your Customers
1 – Start a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are ideal ways to make your customers feel extra special. You can offer them sneak peeks at new inventory, holiday discounts and even entice them with free shipping depending on your business model.
If your clients tend to be locals, give them punch cards that allow them to redeem a 50% discount off their 10th purchase—whatever makes the most sense for you. Reaching that final punch and receiving a discount on the same day feels like Christmas has come early.
“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, Author, and Professional Speaker
2 – Send Thank You Cards
The thrill of receiving handwritten mail never fades. Take the time to write personalized thank-you notes to customers expressing gratitude for their specific purchase. Compliment their taste and style (after all, it is your product) and tell them you hope they’ll continue to think of your business the next time they need a special gift.
3 – Email a Customer Survey
What’s more informative than direct feedback? (Arguably, email addresses for that marketing newsletter you either already send or the one you’ll soon implement? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) A customer survey invites your customers to let you know what they like and DISLIKE. They may be more inclined to reveal their thoughts behind the safety of a computer screen. And though negative comments are hard to digest, they can be valuable opinions that will change your company for the better.
“Our greatest asset is the customer! Treat each customer as if they are the only one!” – Laurice Leitao, Customer Service Professional SeraCare Life Sciences
4 – Respond to Online Reviews
Responding to online reviews means you’re reading them, and you’re hearing your customers. Whether they comment on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or elsewhere, reputation management requires that you reply to every review your business receives–good and bad. Your comments mustn’t be a boilerplate response. You don’t have to write a novel, but a general “thanks” won’t do.
If the comment is from an unhappy shopper, don’t reply in the heat of the moment. When you simmer down, respond with a simple, “We’re sorry to hear your experience didn’t meet your expectations, and we want to make it right. Please help us do better in the future by contacting us to discuss this incident. Our company takes this very seriously. We can be reached at email@example.com.”
5 – Host an Open House
Hosting a Meet and Greet at your shop is a fantastic way to interact with your consumers off-hours. Open the doors to regulars and potential customers as they walk by your building. Provide a few drinks and hors d’oeuvres and even a raffle for a gift. Put a clipboard out to collect email addresses, and be sure to mingle and encourage your staff to do the same.
The benefit of getting to know your customers is paramount to running a successful business. It’s what sets great companies apart from good ones. When consumers receive exceptional customer service and feel like their purchases and opinions are valued, they will demonstrate the loyalty your company needs for prosperous longevity.