Customer Research: 4 Ways to Learn More and Generate Revenue

By Jake Fabbri in Marketing
·8 min read

It’s no secret that your customers respond more enthusiastically when your business acknowledges their individual reasons for supporting you. When you address your customers’ particular needs, your business is taking a greater effort to help them and demonstrate that you value their support.

To reach out to your customers in the most effective manner, it’s essential that your business has a system in place to gather important information about each of your customers. You’ll also have to keep this information organized and accessible so that you can use it in your marketing and outreach efforts, such as creating content on your website to decide on new products or services to offer.

Need a starting place for your customer research strategy? The key is to look at the customer data stored in your CRM. Today, we’ll take a look at how you can put this data to good use and gather more useful information. We’ll show you how you can:

  1. Keep customer information stored, organized, and updated in your CRM.
  2. Pay attention to the details of customers’ buying habits.
  3. Seek out and listen to your customers’ feedback.
  4. Personalize your customer outreach.
     

With customer data on your side, you’ll be able to reach out to them more effectively and better serve their needs, helping to ensure their recurring support for your business. Get started by making sure that you’re keeping their information securely stored, organized, and updated in your CRM.

1. Keep Customer Information Stored, Organized, and Updated in Your CRM

Your CRM is your most important source of customer information that you can use to tailor your outreach toward different groups of customers. Every time your customers make a purchase, more information should be added to their profile. Keep a clean database for easy access and outreach.

This is where you’ll keep valuable data such as the date each customer made their first purchase at your business, details on their typical interactions with your business, and lists of what they buy. From this and similar information, your business will be able to:

  • Determine the best channel through which you should reach out to different customers. Customers who reach your website via your email outreach, for instance, have demonstrated that they’re receptive to email, while customers who interact with your business on social media will take notice of your most recent posts on their favorite platforms.
  • Plan how frequently you should reach out. Your most regular customers will likely want to be kept updated on most of your business’s recent offerings, while those who aren’t yet regular customers may not want to receive as many communications from you. Not every customer needs to receive every communication! You may also wish to take your customers’ stated preferences regarding frequency of communication into account here.
  • Know what information you should include in your communications. Use your customers’ information to structure different communications to different groups of customers. One group, for instance, may be more motivated to support your business when you alert them to a sale you’re having, while another group may be most interested in your newest offerings.
     

It’s essential for your business to take into account the fact that each of your customers has a different set of reasons for supporting your business and a different method of doing so. While you can’t reach out to each customer individually, you can use the information you have saved on each customer to create more effective communications for different groups.

Your business can borrow a strong strategy from the best association management software and look into Salesforce apps that allow you to create reports and visualizations of crucial customer data. The reports make both individual buying habits and trends easier to recognize and understand.

To make the most of these reporting features, you can share the reports with key members of your team to create more informed communications and outreach strategies. Fonteva offers more information on association management database features that your business can adapt to suit your needs.

Before you can create the most effective communications, however, it’s worthwhile to ensure that you’re storing enough customer information in your CRM to best inform your outreaches. Track consumer buying habits and define which ones you’ll measure and focus on.

2. Pay Attention to the Details of Customers’ Buying Habits

Your customers’ buying habits provide your business with the content you need to create communications and outreach that will encourage them to support you again in the future. The more of these habits you track, the more you’ll understand your customers and their motivations. Thus, tracking buying habits is key to retaining customers and generating revenue.

E-commerce, in particular, presents the opportunity to gather significant amounts of data on customers’ buying habits. When your collection of information is more comprehensive, your business will be able to tailor future communications more effectively. Some of the buying habit information you’ll want to gather includes:

  • Your customers’ preferred buying channels. If your business provides both physical and online shopping opportunities, gather information on individual customers’ preferences. If you’re online-only and offer a mobile shopping app in addition to your regular website, take note of which options different customers are choosing.
  • When your customers buy. The contents of your communications aren’t the only aspect that you can adjust to suit the needs and interests of different groups of customers. Especially for online shoppers, knowing when they buy can help you time email communications and social media posts effectively.
  • What your customers buy. While this may seem the most obvious buying habit to track, it can be even more helpful than you think. As Internet shopping creates mappable connections between many very different purchases, you’ll be able to understand your customers well when you keep a detailed record of what they’re buying. You’ll also want to measure how often they buy specific items and how much they buy.
     

You’ll be collecting a large amount of data on each of your customers, which you’ll have to keep organized and accessible if you want to use the information effectively in your communications. If you’re already using a major CRM such as Salesforce, look for top Salesforce apps that can help you manage your customer data and put it to good use.

While you’ll be able to collect plenty of valuable information about your customers by tracking their buying habits and other interactions with your business, it’s also worthwhile to ask your customers for their feedback. Provide them opportunities to tell you what they would like to see or receive from your business.

3. Seek Out and Listen to Your Customers’ Feedback

Want to learn more about your customers so that you can strengthen your business’ connections to them? One effective strategy is simply to ask them! It’s likely that many of your customers will be happy to provide feedback about their interactions with your business, especially when you make it easy for them to share this information.

Have a place where customers can leave reviews of your business or recommend you to others looking for the products or services you provide? Designate a member or members of your team to read over these and report back on important or recurring customer feedback. You can even incorporate positive reviews into your marketing materials.

Many customers may have something to say about their experiences with your business but are uncertain as to how they can get their message across to you. To encourage customer feedback, make it easy to leave reviews and contact you on your website. If you’re using social media, provide links to your accounts or pages and let your customers know that they can contact you there.

Want to motivate more customers to complete surveys or otherwise share feedback with your business? Ensure that the survey or form isn’t too long so that customers don’t drop out part of the way through. You can use a smart form as your model for customer feedback forms, helping to make sure that they don’t have to enter the same information multiple times.

When your business is encouraging and receptive to customer feedback, you’ll learn more about your customers and your customers will feel that your business values their input. Both of these results will motivate your customers to support your business in the future and spread the word about you.

4. Personalize Your Customer Outreach

While you may not be able to reach out to each of your customers individually, you can use the information you have collected about them to create automated communications for different groups of customers that still feel personalized. The right balance of efficiency and personalization is central to effective customer outreach.

Data-driven personalization is a key digital marketing trend for a reason: it motivates customers to support your business! They’ll be happier to support you when you reach out to them with an understanding of:

  • What they value about your business. Have your customers demonstrated through their buying habits or told you that they value your excellent customer service? Perhaps they’re closely connected to the community in which you’re based or their values align with those that you’ve expressed. If you know any of these to be true, communicate them in your outreach to those customers.
  • What else they care about. Interconnected online shopping habits and the widespread use of social media mean that your business may have an even greater understanding of your customers. If their outside interests and concerns connect to your business or to the products or services you provide, reference them in your communications.
  • What they’re looking for. Expand your customers’ interest in your business by directing them first to what they’re looking for, then suggesting additional offerings that relate to what they usually buy. That way, they’ll have more reasons to support you.
     

When you have more information on your customers, you’ll be able to serve them better and connect with them in ways that ensure they feel valued. Using their interactions with your business to provide them with more of what they want and need fosters lasting connections between you and your customers.

Customers respond well to personalized communications and other forms of outreach from your business. To connect with them most effectively, ensure that you’re gathering, understanding, and using customer information such as buying habits as often as you can.

By Jake Fabbri in Marketing
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