Every business has them – in fact you can’t be in business without them – but do you really understand your customer?
Who are they?
Areas to consider when thinking of the type of customer are location, gender, age, occupation, do they run their own business or are they part of a large multi-national organisation?
Learn as much as you can about potential customers and this will allow you to clearly identify your target market.
What do they buy from you?
Do they always buy the same product or service, do they buy weekly, monthly, annually, or are they the type of customer who only purchases goods when you offer discounts or run a promotion?
Understanding what your customer buys will allow you to tailor the product or service to best meet their needs.
Why do they buy from you?
Do they want an on-line experience or do they prefer a weekly visit to your shop? Do you offer an after-sales service or do you provide a specialised product or service that is not readily available elsewhere?
Recognising why your customers buy from you will allow you to develop strategies to make sure they keep coming back for more.
How much are they prepared to pay?
Do you know your target market and what they can afford to pay? What type of location are your customers from, rural, inner city, suburbia – all have their own spending limitations.
There is no point in offering high-priced products if your customers are only looking for bargains – understand your customer’s wallet.
Keep ahead of the competition
Are you aware of what your competitors are doing, are they offering discounts, BOGOF’s, free delivery, credit facilities.
And remember customers generally shop-around before making the final decision to purchase, so by listening to what they have to say you have the opportunity to offer discounts, or at least match, what your competitors are doing.
Once you have taken everything into consideration you will be on your way to understanding your customer, what they need and how you can provide that need.
The best way to stay in business is by understanding your customer – do you understand yours?