How to Understand Customers

Companies being what they are, have never been wholly in tune with customers. How customers use their products and services has literally never been researched and surveyed. Digital surveys sent to various customers of companies are the first step to understanding the psyche of a given customer and what their needs are. Here are some key questions to ask about customers’ digital experience:

• Is the digital experience ensure a seamless flow of dialogue for customers, from the time the order is placed to the shipping process?

• Does the customer feel engaged in the system, or are they taken for a ride?

• Does the customer’s shopping experience reflect their expectations or are they simply getting the basics?

• Does the digital experience support a broad array of needs?

Each customer wants to be engaged with; that is the reason they shop in a store or purchase online. However, most customers only feel engaged because of marketing messages and strategies. There is a strong emphasis on e-commerce, but what does that really mean? It means there is a distinct split between information that a company knows about their customer base and what they communicate in words, print, and other formats. A company needs to ask itself what your brand stands for in the digital world, so engaging with customers should not reflect exclusively what a company’s lifetime customer value is, but also what a typical customer is willing to spend. These original elements should be incorporated into a comprehensive digital strategy.

There are three important aspects of branding in the digital world: website connection, online community, and digital content. The website connection is the words, images, and layout that makes customers feel connected and aware of your company. An online community shows the customer that there is a real person behind the brand. This begins when a customer or potential customer lands on your site. Word design, images, and content also play a role in the online community. The ultimate goal is to connect with them, demonstrate your love for them, and leave a lasting impression. In the digital world, customers come and go in minutes, using the Internet as their sole social outlet.

As a company, communicate, not just tell. Technology is a wonderful thing, but it does not translate into a sale if you do not fully engage customers on social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. For example, Twitter allows companies to brand and self-market to customers now, where most websites cannot. Facebook delivers more instant gratification than many other communications channels so that companies can now directly engage with potential customers.

Advertise, do not beg. There is no coupon on the Internet telling you to feel your pain and adopt the products or services that you need. There is no such thing as free money, but there is an abundance of free information on the Internet. Customers have a number of choices to replace companies who do not take the time to learn what their customers desire. Be a leader, not just a company. Learn what the customer wants and respond. There are no shortcuts, simply the best route.

This is why many companies are nervous about what their customers will think and no matter what that customer thinks, you have to be sure to remain an advocate for your products and services. Those willing to listen, develop a dialogue message, and communicate with customers are the ones who should survive in this economic triumph.

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