Growing your business

How To Gain Customer Insight For Your Business

23 July 2018
3 minute read

Alex Woods

As a business owner, you’ll constantly be trying to tap into what your customers are thinking - by monitoring their habits, behaviour and activity - so that you can better determine not only what they want now, but what they’re likely to want in the future.

Having a clearer understanding of how your customers work will help you deliver better solutions to their needs and more personalised experiences. But, of course, consumer demand is constantly evolving, so you’ll want to have a clear process in place if you’re going to effectively gather the insights you need.

Whether you’re just starting out or simply want to get to know your customers better, here are a few tips we’ve put together to help you out:

Set Your Goals

The first thing you need to do is decide on what exactly it is that you want to find out. Maybe you want to know how your customers feel about customer experience? Or perhaps you want to know what they think about the quality of your products? Having a few questions in mind, listed by priority, will help you narrow down the research so that you can gather information that’s most beneficial for your business.

If you have several questions that span over lots of categories, consider tackling just one category at a time so you’re not overwhelmed with information. Remember, you’ll want to take action depending on the results of your research so it’s important that you don’t take on too much.

5 Simple Ways to Gather Insight

1. Give Social Media A Go

There are many different ways that you can use social media to gain customer insights. One of these ways is to carry out polls directly on your social media channels. You can use Facebook polls, add Instagram polls to your stories or use Twitter polls to ask your followers simple questions. This is actually a really fun and easy way for your followers to answer questions about your business and not only encourages interaction but also allows you to gather data around a specific topic really quickly.

2. Use Your EPoS Data

If you use an EPoS (electronic point of sale) system on your premises, you can gather lots of insight from the data that you collect there. Some of this data includes what your customers’ have been ordering and purchasing, which you can use to drive a more targeted approach in your email marketing campaigns or promotions. You can also monitor when items or services were purchased to see if there are any seasonal trends that you can take advantage of.

This level of visibility will help with all sorts of things such as upselling products or services, deciding on how to approach upcoming promotions, and generally giving you a better idea of what you should be doing and when.

3. Try An Online Survey

These days it can be easy to conduct online surveys for your customers, using a range of accessible resources such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. To gather as many completed surveys as possible, try to keep your survey short and make it easy for customers to complete. It could also be a good idea to offer incentives for completing the survey, e.g. entering all recipients into a prize draw to win a prize or discount at your business.

After your survey has been set up, you can share the link across your website, social media channels and even include a link at the bottom of your receipts so that customers can easily access it. You can then monitor the results online and export reports on your findings.

4. The All-Important Review Sites

Review sites aren’t only good for seeing what you’re currently doing well and what you could improve on, but also create a great opportunity to get some further insights from your customers. It’s perfectly acceptable for businesses to respond to reviews and ask if customers would be willing to give more information in relation to their comment. As the customer has already initiated a conversation by commenting on your business, it’s your job to keep this going and uncover some valuable insight about their experience!

5. Take It Offline!

Taking things offline can still prove extremely effective. Leaving in-store feedback cards with a few questions by your tills, around your premises or even handing them out with receipts, means that customers can easily fill these out and remain anonymous by leaving it in a feedback box. Although this method can be more manual to process, it could still be worth having it as an option for your non-digital customers.

Next Steps

Finally, once you have gathered all the insights that you need, you’ll want to find a way to manage and store this information, whether that’s in a simple spreadsheet or using an online management tool such as Trello that can help you as you begin implementing your learnings too. You may also want to share your findings with other team members so that you can start to take some actionable steps towards creating a business that’s more tailored to your customer!

Next Steps

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