3 reasons to know your customers better

On 11th June, the Guardian published an article on the Small Business page of their website written by James Caan regarding the importance of researching the market (you can read the full article here).
Since starting Aardvark Marketing in 2005, I have been consistently surprised by how little research small and medium sized businesses undertake. In my employed career, I was regularly hiring research companies to help me understand customers and my marketplace better and provide insight that would give my brands an edge over the competition.
Perhaps small businesses think research is only for the big brands, but I believe they are better placed to understand their market and customers. One of the advantages of being small is being closer to the customer, but this is only valuable if that proximity is used to build and use knowledge.
Here are three examples of where better customer understanding can add real value:
A simple customer survey can highlight areas to improve, generate data to use in sales and marketing and provide valuable testimonials. A good survey can be put together at low cost and deliver very quick results. We have even run surveys for some clients that have prompted customers to place orders!
Understanding why current customers buy from us gives some good indications about what we should be communicating to prospective customers. People who choose to pay for our products and services do so for a reason and we need to know what it is.
If we can find out what customers value we can optimise our pricing and margins – when we don’t know we tend to end up setting prices based on the competition or our costs and risk either over or under pricing!
If you don’t gather much customer feedback at the moment, please give it a try and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you learn and how you can put it to good use.