Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JAN. 13, 2016
version 8, draft 8

Get to Know Your Customer Day: How Familiarity Can Drive Sales

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If you were to look at the National Calendar, you would see a number of strange and unusual dates for people to celebrate. January is stranger than most, with fascinating entities such as National Hat Day and National ‘Not without a Scalpel Day’, illuminating the otherwise mundane monthly calendar. The less said about the last entry the better, but it underlines the diversity of unheralded holidays that are celebrated annually in the UK and the rest of the Western world.

See Also: How to best get to know your employees

This unique and often hilarious selection of dates hides numerous nuggets of inspiration especially for business-owners who are keen to develop and improve their ventures. The 21st January sees the celebration of ‘Get to know your Customers Day’, for example, which is an annual event that occurs quarterly during January, April, July and October. This encourages firms to build and develop more meaningful relationships with their customers, which in turn can optimise sales conversions and drive huge returns on your investment.

How to Use Familiarity to Drive Sales

This holiday has earned huge credibility during the course of the last decade, as a large number of businesses have transitioned from being locally owned and managed to operating online. This has made it increasingly difficult to interact with customers and forge meaningful relationships, while smaller businesses can also struggle to tailor their products and services in order to meet their consumers’ constantly evolving needs.

In this respect, Get to Know your Customers Day, offers you a unique opportunity to reconnect with your consumers while creating integrated and more compelling marketing campaigns. So, while some businesses will content themselves with using the hashtag #GetToKnowYourCustomerDay across their social media outlets, others will delve beyond this to establish a genuinely emotive and mutually beneficial relationship.

So without further ado, here are three widely-observed insights that will help you understand the value of consumer familiarity and how this translates into a higher rate of sales conversions!

1. Shoppers Operate Differently to Consumers

Let’s start with the boldest insight of all, which suggests that there is a subtle but impactful difference between shoppers and consumers. How so, we hear you ask? Essentially, shoppers are the individuals that actively buy goods online or in-store, while consumers ultimately use and review any products that are purchased.

This is the underlying principle that drives shopper marketing, which is a technique that engages buyers rather than consumers and seeks to influence active purchasing decisions. It is particularly effective during times of change and economic uncertainty, as these factors force shoppers to become more price-sensitive and cautious over how they spend their hard earned cash. Shopper marketing also allows you to understand your customers in greater depth, as you recognise their ever-changing motivation and the behaviour that underpins real-time purchasing decisions.

This marketing technique is built on the accrual of accurate and detailed data sets, which focus on target buyer demographics and their behaviour when active either in-store or online. Through the application of analytical CRM, it is possible to build vast swathes of data that offer a unique insight into buyers and help you to understand how they will react to changes in price, product and promotion. This type of comprehension is priceless; it can turn a faceless army of customers into familiar brood that is far more predictable.

By understanding this and marketing your products to active buyers rather than generic consumer groups, you can ultimately drive higher conversion rates and maximise your ROI. This will become increasingly important in 2016, especially with all roads apparently leading directly to a further bout of global recession over the course of the next 12 months.

2. Customers Prefer Brands That Deliver Solutions

Shoppers can be a demanding bunch, especially in an age when they have been spoiled by next-day delivery, real-time customer service and increasingly generous promotions. While they are not always right (contrary to popular opinion), you must remember that they hold sway in a competitive market and expect their preferred brands to tailor their products and promotions to suit their precise needs.

This is where knowledge and familiarity come into play, as it is impossible to create viable solutions that need your customer’s needs without first understanding their problems. This can vary between individual customers, but the analysis of data should reveal recurring trends that you are able to focus on. One such issue in the modern age is a lack of disposable income, which has created an economy where UK residents collectively owe in the region of £1.4 trillion.

This translates into an average household debt of £54,000, which is frankly ridiculous when you consider that the median national salary is just £26,000. Owing more than twice as much as they earn, the average customer is increasingly keen to source bargains and products that offer genuine value for money. You can use this understanding as a business-owner to create fair and well-researched price points, which help to you to maintain a viable profit margin while also addressing a pressing customer concern.

In general terms, you must understand your buyer’s motivation and their main challenges before pricing products and promoting them. This enables you to walk in your customers’ shoes and adapt your brand proposition in order to add value to the shopping experience, while also offering solutions to major problems and optimising conversion rates.

3. Giving to Receive is The Core Building Block of Customer Relations

The problem with small business-owners is that they tend to be fixated with short-term gain, rather than keeping their eyes trained on the bigger picture. This impacts the way in which they spend and invest their capital, with training resources such as Global Knowledge claiming that employers are more likely to invest in instructor-led technology courses that deliver a fixed ROI rather than the cultivation of long-term consumer relationships that are more difficult to measure.

This is a huge false economy, and one that showcases a huge misunderstanding of how modern consumers think. The emergence of the freemium business model and simplistic free trials have altered consumer psychology beyond all recognition, as the modern breed of customers are accustomed to entering into mutually beneficial partnerships with progressive brands. In basic terms, today’s customers expect to receive something of value from modern brands without being forced to pay a fixed fee or upfront subscription.

Understanding the modern consumer psyche is crucial, as it helps you to become familiar with your customer’s expectations and can be used to further your own cause. Loss aversion is something that underpins the commercial success of free trial packages and the freemium business model, as once customers have experienced the full value of a product or service they will be loath to lose this or miss out on paid add-ons. This is a huge advantage, and one of the few aces that brands hold in a deck that is stacked for the consumer.

This ethos is built on an in-depth knowledge of customers and their behaviour, and if executed well, it can cultivate long-term trust, higher sales volumes and an increased rate of conversions in the future. In many respects this is Holy Grail for business-owners, especially those who want to last for longer than the duration of an EastEnders Omnibus.

See Also: 8 Reasons Start Ups Fail to Get New Customers

While every customer is different, these insights will help you to understand modern consumers and develop the kind of familiarity that builds trust, loyalty and higher sales conversion rates. With this in mind, you should use the 21st January and Get to know your Customer Day as an opportunity to understand buyers in-depth and drive long-term success!

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