Collect the Right Customer Account Information to Understand Your Market
We all want to retain our customers by offering the best possible service and win new ones by providing the same experience. That’s a given.
Undoubtedly, the best way to do this is by understanding what your customer needs, and the market that you work in.
But how do you know what customers want? A great way to do this is by gathering data through your accounts department, using your customer account information. This can take you a long way in the right direction to understanding what is wanted, where and when and how much.
If this sounds like information that you can use, keep reading. We will give you some tips and tricks to stay at the top of your market while offering the best possible service.
Understanding Your Customers
Understanding your current customers, as well as any potential customers, is essential if you want to remain competitive. And this is not as complicated as you may think – you already have all the tools at your disposal. You just need to use them.
If you are using accounting software systems for customer management, you are already halfway there. These valuable insights will help you to analyse your data for trends and get a good look at the big picture.
If you don’t ask any questions, you will never have any answers. But what are the right questions to ask to gather the data that you require? They are simple really
- Who are your customers?
- What do they want to buy or use?
- When do they want it?
- Where do they buy most often?
- How do they make payment?
- What price are they willing to pay?
By asking these simple questions, you will be able to gather a wealth of data that can help you to improve your business, and point you in the right position.
While they are a helpful way to capture data, DIY surveys on your customers will often give you a biased view of what your customers need. Your most loyal and active customer will participate, and you may miss out on the details and feedback of your less positive or active customers.
If you want to go the survey route, the best way to do this is to use a third-party research option or CRM to reach all customers by using their account information, not just your current ones. This will give you a much more rounded database to work from.
Identify Consumer Segments
Once you start to gather information, you will be able to identify certain consumer segments that share similar characteristics. Having this information available will allow you to streamline your target markets. Ensuring customers are in the right segments is easy enough if you group your customer account numbers, and make sure you keep up with regular customer account maintenance.
While there are various segments within segments, in very basic terms, the top four segments are
- Demographics is based on age, gender, marital status, income, occupation etc.
- Psychographic is based around personal values, interests, and attitudes as well as personality traits
- Geographic is based around where customers live
- Behavioural is based on how people spend money, their actions or lack of actions
Each of these segments requires specific items and services, and because of this, your best option is to offer a tailormade marketing strategy to each. An important thing to remember however is that while these segments may have similar interests or requirements, they are still individuals.
You run the risk of excluding some of them if you are too specific with your marketing and communication. There are hundreds of ways that you could divide your customers up into segments. However, not all of these will be useful to your marketing strategies, so you will need to sort carefully through your data.
Know Your Buyers Motivation
Knowing why a consumer does something is particularly important information to have. Gathering this information through a customer account can help you to understand what is needed, as well as noticing if there are any gaps in the market, or areas that you can explore.
Asking the question of what your customer is trying to get done will give you vital information as to their motivation for buying a product or using a service. This type of market-related research gives you as a business a better understanding of your customer’s needs, and how you can meet them.
Which customers are willing to spend the money on top products, whereas others will opt for those that are good enough and spend their money elsewhere? If you can find the areas that you are not meeting a customer’s criteria or the reason that they are going elsewhere for products and services, then you will be able to find the areas to improve and draw them back.
This is the kind of information that works to guide companies into product development business growth. It will benefit your marketing strategies, which in turn will all help boost the bottom line.
Know Your Competition
While it is good to be familiar with your customers, it is also important to know and understand your competition. By studying the strengths and weaknesses of those in the industry you can be the first to discover gaps in the market. The most vital things to know about your competitors are:
- Which are your biggest competitors in the industry and what is their market share?
- Know their products or services, and which are the most popular choices
- Which of them is growing and for what reason?
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
- Develop strategies that you can use to build advantages
It is also a good idea to look at those who are indirect competitors to your industry. There is great market potential here if you can convince their customers that doing things your way is better than using their products or services.
An easy example of this is if you are an airline, for example then your indirect competitors will be buses and trains. Your goal should be to convince people that flying is the most desirable possible option for various reasons. If you can offer your product in the same ballpark when it comes to cost and convenience, then you have a winning strategy.
Customer Account Information
Knowing what your customers want and need is a key component in being able to offer them the best possible service and products. If you can be always one step ahead of the game, isn’t it worth investing a bit of time and money into some products that can take your customer account information and turn it into usable data?
By asking the right questions, knowing your competition, and using all the information and account details to your advantage, your business will be a force to be reckoned with in no time at all. What have you got to lose?
If you have questions about customer accounts and the variety of packages that we offer, contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.