As businesses and entrepreneurs seek to grow, expand and make more profits, one lesson they must never forget is that no matter how big you get, you must never forget to maintain close relationship with your customers. Customers are the reason why businesses exist and in the age of social and digital media understanding how those customers interact with your business, product, offices and online assets will determine the possibility that you will still be existing in another five years.
Customer experience, behavior and analytics are becoming big business. I was busy cleaning up my unread emails and responses and I saw an email from Academia.edu. A research report on consumer behavior and social media was part of the top 2% of downloaded articles on the website. However earlier in the year, SlideShare had sent me an email stating my research report has been downloaded over 30,000 times already. The research paper which examined “The Impact of Social Media Marketing Communications on Consumers’ Perception of Brands” written in 2012 when I was conducting a research as a requirement to obtain a Diploma in Advertising from APCON.
Companies already understand the importance of user experience and are taking steps to, develop products intelligently market smartly and to use analytics to obtain insights from user behaviour and to use those insights to guide business and management decisions. Truth be told, your customers are interested in what’s good for them, not you. They don’t really care how hard you work or how much more complicated your business is from those of your competitors. They simply want to find out what you will do for them, how much it will cost them and how you stack against the competition. Every business owner and marketer needs to always put the customer at the heart of their business without thinking we can outgrow them.
Most business tends to forget the customer. If you have been a boss and entrepreneur for a long time, you may become so successful that you forget the patronage of customer brought you success in the first instance. Because most employees focus on tasks dictated by their job function or bosses, they may also tend to forget to focus on the customers. My fundamental advice is simple; While you are busy making your small business act bigger and ensuring your brand becomes the industry leader, it is important to take out time to also think like the customer. How do you get you self and business of behave and think like a customer?
Spend time where your customers are
It is amazing what business owners can discover when they decide to sit and observe how other people interact with your business and the products you offer in the market. It may interest you to know that YouTube was launched as an online video dating website, but the users had other plans for it. They decided to dump the online dating model and follow their customers; today it remains the world’s largest search engine and the largest bank of videos in the world. Just sitting in the lobby or reception of your office can reveal a lot to your business. Going to the market or places where your product will be used or that of your competition can reveal a lot you.
That moment is not the time to market; it is the time to watch for patterns, identify product or user challenges that are not always communicated and to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Have your tried browsing your own website? Since you have heard that most people browse the internet from their mobile phones, have you tried accessing your website from a mobile phone?
Understand Metrics and Analytics
The beautiful thing about digital an online marketing is that everything can be measured. Gone are the days when you second lots of money on promoting your business and you cannot directly trace the money spent to income derived. Web analytic tools and metrics has made marketing far more measurable than ever before.