When you run a business, you’re highly reliant on customers to keep things up and running. At the end of the day, it’s customers’ spending power that will ultimately make or break your company. So, you need to get to know them and you need to find out exactly what it is that they want in order to hand their money over to you. Having a good grip on these things can see you better adapt your business to your targeted market and consequently make many more sales! Here are a few areas to focus on that will help you to better achieve your ultimate goal of making more profit!
Conducting Market Research
Market research is perhaps the best thing you can do to actually understand your audience. Sure, it’s all good and well knowing who you’re targeting. But you need to be able to get into these individuals’ minds in order to sell to them effectively. Market research can help you to achieve this. Here are some of the basics!
What Actually Is Market Research?
First, let’s outline what market research actually is. Put simply, market research can be any research that you conduct into consumers and their behaviour. You can use market research to get some really deep insight into your users. You can learn whether they’d be remotely interested in your product. You can learn about what they’d expect or want from it. You can learn what they are willing to pay for it. You can learn how they’d like it packaged. You can find out what shipping options can sway them into making a purchase. You can also find out information like where they spend their free time or what websites they use so that you can know where to target them with your advertising. Generally speaking, market research is carried out in the form of surveys, getting people to complete questionnaires, holding focus groups and seminars and a variety of other tasks.
How to Carry Out Market Research
So, how do you carry out market research in the first place? It can be an unfamiliar area to get involved with at first, but soon you’ll grow used to it. There tend to be two main modes of going about this that the majority of businesses use. The two main options are either outsourcing market research work, or building up your own in-house team.
Most small business owners opt to outsource their market research to market research specialists. These generally take the form of high quality agencies and market research companies, but could also be a renowned freelancer. These people already have the contact details of plenty of people who are willing to do market research and they will be able to easily and quickly reach out to individuals who match your target demographic. They’ll also have plenty of expertise and experience in getting honest and useful answers to any questions you might be looking to ask.
Creating an In-House Team
If you run a larger business and you’re conducting market research on a regular basis, you may be better off conducting your market research in-house. This means hiring a market research specialist full or part time, or even building a market research team.
Conducting User Research
Nowadays, more and more of your customers will be shopping online. This is why the vast majority of businesses will have a website where people can browse stock, make purchases and get in touch. It’s absolutely essential, then, that your website is straightforward and easy to use. A complicated or unappealing site will cause people to exit the tab and shop elsewhere. An appealing and engaging site will keep people on board and will see more people browsing your stock and, ultimately, making purchases. But how can you know what works for your website’s users and what they don’t like? The answer is user research. This is similar to market research but is more focused on web design and user experience on your website. In order to meet all of your users’ wants and needs as best you can, you’re going to have to conduct plenty of qualitative vs quantitative user research. Then, you can implement the results with the help of a high quality web designer, web developer and UX designer or developer.
Providing Top Quality Customer Service
There’s a saying that the customer is always right and the majority of large and successful companies will stand by this. Sure, customers aren’t always going to be right. In fact, on many occasions they will be wrong. But the phrase is generally employed to remind you that customers are the ones generating profits and, consequently, you need to keep them happy in order for your business to be a success. These simple steps will help you to provide great customer service on your website!
Offer as Many Routes of Contact as Possible
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your customers can get in touch with you with questions, queries, complaints or any other means of communication. It’s a good idea to have a business phone number, a business address that they can write to, a business email contact address, a contact form on your website and messaging options on your business’ social media channels.
Train Your Staff
You also need to train your staff in answering customer queries, complaints, or any other customer contact. Create guidelines and verse them in answers to your business’ most common FAQs. It’s also good to show staff how to respond to negative reviews.
It’s also a good idea to survey customers. This will ensure that you know how they’re feeling, how they found your products, how they found your service and what you can do to improve in the future to make them even happier.
When it comes down to it, the better you meet your customers’ needs, the more likely they will be to spend money with you. Hopefully, the above information should give you a few areas to focus on and will get the ball rolling in the right direction!