How to Increase Sales? Ask your customers!
The question that continues to plague business owners is ‘how to increase sales?’ The fact is, there’s so many theories and strategies around that it can be hard to work out what’s best for your business. In reality, no two businesses are the same, and what works for your competitors may not necessarily work for you. However, one thing is abundantly clear for anybody looking to increase their sales: You must understand your customers.
The expected global expenditure on digital advertising for 2019 is over $330 billion. That’s an incredible sum, and accounts for half of total advertising expenditure. People are spending more time online so it’s logical to try and reach them through online channels. But how many of those billions are being wasted by businesses who don’t understand what their customers really want?
One sure-fire way to get an insight into your customers’ needs is to use surveys. It can be a quick, cost-effective tool to further inform your marketing spend.
Understand Your Market
When we talk about understanding ‘your market’, it doesn’t just refer to the broader industry you’re in. If you run a retail outlet selling street wear, your industry is clothing retail, but you’re probably not marketing towards professionals. Your market is primarily under 30’s, perhaps paying special attention to those interested in skateboarding culture or similar activities. How this target audience wants information delivered to them may differ dramatically to say, a 50-year-old executive.
So, it’s crucial that you understand your market, but you probably already knew WHO your main audience is. The tricky part is understanding what they want, and how you can provide it to them. Just like fashion trends, customer trends change over time too, so to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to be ready to adapt and change as your target audience does.
Don’t Guess What Customers Want – Ask Them
“That’s all well and good,” you might say. But how do you find out what customers want? Is it lower prices? More diverse product ranges? Friendlier customer service? The truth is, it could be all or none of those things. Every market group is different, but there’s a way you can take the guess work out knowing what they want.
You can use tailored customer service surveys to find out what your customers are really thinking. The best part is, the people who are on your mailing list are likely to be people who’ve used your business in the past, so they can give terrific insight into what you do well and what could improve.
If you’re concerned about people not wanting to fill out your survey, why not offer a prize? Not only can you gain valuable insight into how you’re perceived by customers, but it can be a marketing opportunity at the same time.
Implement a Customer Relationship Management Tool (CRM)
Armed with intel gained from a customer survey, you can now look to implement a Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM). A CRM is a multi-faceted customer management system that can help you (amongst other things) generate leads, turn leads into sales, and also support post-sale engagement of customers. Popular examples of this software are Salesforce, Zoho and Hubspot. Different software will have various functions and ease-of-use, so make sure you research which is best for you.
A CRM allows you to fully customise how you manage the customer experience from start to finish, and even beyond. But like anything, knowledge is power. Understanding what your customers want is the key to getting the most out of your CRM.
Targeted Offers to Suit Customer Demand
One thing you can use a CRM for is sending special offers to both existing and potential customers. Special offers, whether it be regular discounts, sales, or even loyalty rewards are a great way to entice repeat business, but it needs to be what your customers really want.
Using a customer survey, you can get a better idea of what would encourage customers to become repeat customers. Your target audience might love two-for-one offers, or a monthly special deal on selected products. They might enjoy discounts on new product lines, or even a customer loyalty program for regular, repeated purchases.
Whatever you’re hearing from your customers, you’re now in a position to deliver special deals that are more likely to make an impact on your bottom line.
Use the Right Channel at the Right Time
Obviously, digital marketing is the fastest-moving trend, but many people feel swamped with advertisements these days. That doesn’t mean you should ditch the social media ads altogether. It just means you should target them carefully, which is exactly what’s possible by using a customer service survey.
You can find out which social media channels your customers spend more time on, how often they’d like to see advertising, and what sort of ads they want to see. It helps you deliver your messages in a way that aligns with customer desires and expectations. The cost of online advertising can add up, so you want to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck.
Customer Surveys are Fast and Cost-Effective
Customer surveys are a fast and cost-effective way to get your sales moving in the right direction. It’s widely known that turning your current customers into repeat customers is far easier than generating new leads. So, consider surveying your customers.