You read about it, you heard about it and you may even have tried to apply it in your business. It’s your audience, the people you’re trying to reach to solve a problem for, sell a product or a service, or increase awareness about a certain topic.
You know you need to do it, but you can’t necessarily have a grasp on how or where to start.
Today I am going to share some simple steps to help you understand your audience.
But before that, let me share a personal story. I am pretty sure many of you experienced the same.
I’ve been with the same contractor for my mobile phone for eight years now. I liked them in the beginning they were different from the rest of the market, they had a good customer service (which the competition didn’t).
But all these changed in the last couple of years. As they grew, they became more aggressive in sales with long-time customers.
When I say aggressive, I mean phone calls every week to promote one product or another, even though I asked them not to call me, to note in their system I don’t want, nor appreciate these calls.
They stopped for a while, until a new campaign was launched. They not only tried to sell me their latest product, they started spinning things, they overwhelm me with too much information to say yes, just so I can finish the call.
It got worse when they tried to sell me a service inferior to what I had, but more expensive.
I tried to reason with the customer service people calling me, I tried to talk to them like you do with, I don’t know, a human, maybe. Nope, that didn’t work either. They were so focused in reading me whatever their script was, they just didn’t listen.
To this, add the fact they didn’t have the info in their CRM system (or they didn’t use it) with the services and products I bought from them in the past. So, every week I would receive either a call or a text to buy this or that phone, etc.
I’ve been with this company for eight years. Let me say that again: Eight freaking years!
And they don’t know me or what I want, like, so they can properly sell me what I am interested in.
You may say that they are a big company, that all big telecommunication companies do the same or have a hard time personalizing the calls, products, services.
But here is where you’re wrong: I didn’t ask them to create a product or service only for me, I just asked them to listen to what I am saying, to look into their database and see I am an iPhone user, so selling me any other brand, just won’t cut it.
And this is where the problem lays with many companies, big or small: They fail to train their customer service people, they focus on big numbers, sell, sell, sell, and forget they talk to people who have different needs and interests. And if they’re smart enough they can address them while making the big bucks.
How to Understand Your Audience
Call Your Customer
Listening and understanding your audience it’s easier than you may think, and it starts with your present customers. Study them, see what they previously bought from you, call them, ask them how they are doing, if they are happy with your product or service. Ask them what would they change to your product or service or what you can do to make it better for them.
Yes, you will have people yelling at you, but you will also receive very good insights that will help you further develop your product or service to better serve your customers.
Don’t miss this opportunity.
Train Your Customer Service Team
You’ve heard this one before, didn’t you?
Guess what? There is a huge misunderstanding here.
I don’t mean to train your customer service team on how to sell your product or service. Of course you should do that, if you want to sell anything at all.
What I mean is to train your customer service team the soft skills of customer service: How to listen to your clients, what questions to ask to find out more about them and where to register that information, so you can later use it in your messaging and overall business and marketing strategy.
Use Social Media
I don’t understand this fear some businesses have to use social media to connect with their audience and customers.
You need to be where you target audience is, you need to connect with them and listen to them.
People want to be heard, they want attention, stop with generic marketing and sales messages from 20 years ago.
Don’t take your audience for granted, nurture them, listen to them, and connect with them in a very human way.
There is a lot of competition out there.
Where will your business be in the next few years if you don’t adapt to today’s market realities? Are you still going to be in business?
Be smart, get to know and listen to your customers and audience.
If you’re wondering what happened with my story, it’s quite easy to figure it out: I changed the company. And I am not the only one.