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5 Ways to Get Inside the Minds of Your Customers

Originally posted on tapscape.com

Understanding your customers involves taking a look at how buyers interact with your product, service, support portals, and social networks. Your social networks can be a good source for customer research, as they can provide an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse of your brand’s reputation as well as current trends in your industry.

When customers seek products to solve their problems, having the “best” product isn’t the only factor that will make them open their wallets and give you their hard-earned dollars. Things such as brand image, communication style, purchase options, and other factors can all influence their buying decision.

The more insight you have into the minds and overall preferences of consumers, the more likely you are to win their business; if you’re lucky, you’ll get repeat business. All companies want prospective buyers to know why their products/services are the best, but first, they must understand the customer.

Gary Brewster, life-long entrepreneur, shares a few ways to do this.

1. Know How They Buy

Every customer processes product messaging differently, and in turn, will respond in a way that’s in tune with their individual buyer modality. Buyer modalities refer to four different buyer personas which describe how people approach buying decisions.

  1. Competitive Buyers want to buy the best product to solve their problem, driven by factors such as cool features, achievements, and product/brand recognition. Cater to them by offering details such as industry recognition, social proof, unmatched product features, and other information. Don’t be afraid to brag and speak to how your product is regarded in the industry (and amongst consumers in general). Show them why they should rank your product as number one.
  2. Spontaneous Buyers commonly make quick, on-the-spot purchases based off of enthusiasm or new excitement. Innovation, creativity, and urgency are some of the best ways to get their attention to your product.
  3. Humanistic Buyers typically make buying decisions based on how they believe a product will make them feel. Their main interests concern the improved life experience that your product can offer. Questions they may pose can include the following:
  •  How has this product helped others?
  •  Are they like me?
  •  Are there any ethical concerns about purchasing this product?

Using various forms of social proof such as testimonials, live demonstrations, and survey data offer a great way to win over these types of buyers.

  1. Methodical Buyers tend to be swayed by facts, figures, and typically conduct a fair amount of research before making buying decisions. Things such as seals of approval, safety ratings, and research studies go a long way when it comes to earning their trust.

The frequency of each buyer modality will vary with each industry, but they can be a great start to helping you develop customer personas and improving your conversions. It’s also helpful to create messaging and content that caters to different styles of learning such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. “Something that makes sense for one customer might not resonate with another. Find and test different approaches to teach consumers about your offerings,” states Brewster.

2. Host Live Instagram and Facebook Videos

Live videos not only allow you to see and directly interact with the people buying your products, but they’re also a great way to capture new leads and social followers. Think of engaging videos that you can create for your audiences. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to them to ask what they’d like to see from you.

3. Live Online Support

A growing number of businesses are implementing chat sales and support systems on their websites-and with good reason. These systems offer a way to understand the most common questions prospective buyers have about your products. They also can help you understand any on-boarding issues new customers may face after purchasing.

This type of insight can be invaluable to your business and is great to refer to when dissecting your website analytics.

4. Ask Them Directly

Surveys have long been one of the best tools for understanding customers because they get right to the point: What do you like about us? What DON’T you like about us? How can we be better?

Reach out to your customers via email, social media, and on your website, as well as at the conclusion of sales/service calls, to get real feedback on your products at various stages of their purchase decision.

5. Encourage Product Reviews

Today’s consumers are savvier than ever, often reading reviews and product ratings before making purchases. Honest reviews offer you valuable data about how customers are interacting with your products and whether or not it’s solving their problems. Use them to flesh out potential improvements for your products, and even new offerings that customers may want to see from you.

Try to get to know why your customers decide to go with your products. Understanding the drivers and other factors that contribute to their buying processes will help you to determine the best sales approaches to get their business.

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