Who are your customers?
It’s a question every business should ask and, hopefully, answer. Except that in all honesty, we can’t provide an honest answer to the question. Unless you only have a handful of customers, you will probably find it hard to know their interests, lifestyles, and preferences by heart – or at all. There’s a reason for that. Customers are less keen to share personal information. Many even refuse to create an account when they buy online, as the popular ‘sign up as a guest’ function reveals. The thought is the following: You don’t need to know who a customer is to prepare and send their orders. But that’s where you and they are going wrong. You need to know each other if you’re going to offer personalized solutions and products that meet their expectations.
Getting your customers to share personal information is about as tricky as it is to get anything out of a grumpy teen. Interestingly enough, both your customers and your grumpy teen will respond positively to the same approach, namely building a trust relationship.
Use a carrot
Customers don’t want to share any personal because they don’t see the gain in doing so. Your role is to convince them otherwise. How? By rewarding them for filling up their details. In marketing terms, squeeze page funnels are the metaphorical carrot that encourages customers to share their data.
Are they looking for a tech tutorial? Brilliant! You’ve got one available and ready for download. They only need to give their email address so you can send them the download link.
Do they want to try a service for free? They can, as long as they can fill up their contact details to create a free account.
You get the idea. Promise to give them something they need, and you can ask for data in exchange.
Share a personal story
How do you get people to open up? The easiest way is to make the first move. For businesses that want to hear about how their customers use their products, the easiest strategy is to start with your unique experience. Make a video about your latest moisturizing lotion, for instance. You can use the channel not only to demonstrate how the product works but also to show what happens behind the scene. It’s a great way of explaining how the product has helped improve your skin, by sharing your experience with skin problems. Customers are likely to respond to the content with a personal story of their own.
Let them fill the gap in their own time
Creating detailed and relevant customer profiles doesn’t happen overnight. You can use existing marketing tools to highlight trends, such as Google Analytics to identify demographics, location, and preferred web pages, for instance. Combined with the data collected and stored in your CRM solution, you can start to segment your customers into different categories. Existing customers are likely to fill up the gaps for you, using either survey tools or relying on their personal accounts with the company.
In conclusion, you can’t build a successful business presence without understanding your buyers and what makes them tick. Establishing a trust relationship with customers can encourage them to share more information, either through a reward-centered approach or by giving them control over their data. Think of it as a natural exchange between individuals; you can’t force people to share their stories, but you can influence them to do so.