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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Know Your Customer

It is so easy to get distracted. In your strategy for your business, there is much to focus on. We are always looking at new and varying ways to possibly give us an edge over others in this highly competitive era of business. Taking all of these things into consideration, sometimes we have to get back to fundamentals and the fundamental I am going to discuss with you today is so simple, we sometimes chase distractions and forget about it.

Know your customer. Yep, it’s just that simple. When we are thinking of bold moves to triple our sales, being first to do this or that or marketing a dynamic offer that is too good to be true, which oftentimes is just talking about it until we are blue in the face. I promise you they are more tired of hearing it than you are of talking about it. We are overlooking the simple, fundamental of knowing our past, present and future customer.

How old are they? This is the most common fact we have heard or maybe are asked about our customer. Commonly referred to as the demographic. Are they 18-25 or 18-49? Are they 25-54 or 55+? I don’t know about you, but I percieve there is a huge difference in an 18 year old and a 49 year old. There is a huge difference in a 25 year old and a 54 year old person. Demographics were invented by research companies and media outlets to group people into age ranges for analysis. Some of these ranges are simply way too broad, yet people spend billions each year trying to reach these broad demographical ranges. My first piece of advice is to focus the demographics of your customer where your target customer actually fits. You don’t have to be tied down to a demographic, you can create your own which fits your customer and business. This is for analysis by you, not for purchasing advertising purposes.

Psychographics is where it’s at. Many people know demographics, but some are not familiar with psychographics. It’s the study of how your customers behave, their interests, their attitudes and thier lifestyles. Where do they live? What is the value of their home? Are they married? How many kids? What do they spend discretionary income on? Is it on your product or service or something else?

Record, record, record. How much data do you get on your existing customers? It is important for you to know their purchasing activity. How much? How often? When? Can you spot any trends forming with your purchasers? The thought is, the better you know your existing customers’ habits with you, the better relationship you can forge with them.

CRM= Customer Relationship Management. This may be old hat to some and new territory for others. Having a CRM database system helps you keep up with all of this viatl information on your buyers. It helps you store their contact information as well as some of the data I have previously mentioned. There are many on the market, cheap to expensive. They are work to maintain just as any system is. In some companies, their CRM data is the most valuable assets they have. It is part of the goodwill of the business and helps drive or establish it’s true value. Wouldn’t you love to have Apple’s CRM data?

No excuses. Not having a formal CRM system is no excuse for not knowing your customer. You may not feel you are even big enough to have one of these and at the same time, you need profiles on your customers. The CRM program may make it easier for you, since it is already formatted for data insertion, but it is going to be work regardless. I will high suggest the work comes with huge ROI and payoff for you in the long run. For example, wouldn’t you be better at interacting with your customer if you could pull up and review their data prior to a meeting? Remember, the brain is designed to create data, not store it. You would feel more comfortable reciting the wife/husband and children’s names from the profile than actually having to pull them from your mental data bank…and what if you forget and get them wrong? Ugh.

It’s a never ending process. Knowing your customer as fully as possible is never ending. If you really get into it, the momentum you experience will be business transforming. When you can intimately know your customer, you can serve them better. You can identify prospects faster. Make offers that truly interest them which aren’t not simply based on the lowest price. The more you focus on your customer and future customers, the more your business will serve them and you better.

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