If you don’t know your customers you can’t personalise a website experience or optimise your website for sales. You can’t target your customers with relevant marketing messages or encourage loyalty. You can’t provide an outstanding customer service to retain their custom.
Website analytics and CRM data are invaluable, but they don’t tell the whole picture.
How about getting feedback directly from your customers? Asking them what they think and want isn’t as scary as it may sound.
Have you seen your customers using your website? By carrying out usability testing you can can see what visitors do, and hear what they think as they interact with your website. By using online tools such as WhatUsersDo (http://whatusersdo.com/) you can perform tests and watch videos of the results within hours. Compared to traditional testing, this is quick and inexpensive which opens user testing possibilities to the smallest of businesses.
Customer surveys allow you to ask questions about your products/services, feedback on experiences, determine brand awareness and carry out market research. Tools such as 4QSurvey (http://www.4qsurvey.com) gives businesses of all sizes the ability to survey site visitors, analyse results and gain valuable insight.
Then there are personal interviews and focus groups. Using a moderator and independent venue you can gather your customers thoughts and attitudes to gain valuable insight into how you can improve your website and brand experiences.
Have you considered inviting your best customers to an event? If you have the budget to invite key segments to an event or workshop you have the opportunity to really engage with them and create super-fans. Taking this a step further, a crowd sourcing approach could be taken where your customers assist with development, design and marketing for your products and services.
What do your customers see and experience when they interact with your brand? You don’t need to guess, or assume. If you think you don’t know your customers as well as you should, why not simply ask them some questions?