10 Ways to find out what your customers really want

30/10/2015 — Chris Settle

Senior Advisor at Jersey Business Chris Settle tells you how to find out what your customer really wants.

1 MEET THEM.

Make yourself available and visible. Get on to the sales floor as often as possible and interact with your customers. They will soon let you know what the think. Listen to what they tell you and react positively to any criticism thanking them for their input. Then act on it.

2 WATCH THEM.

Take time to observe your customers, their reactions to your displays, products, signage and prices. Track their flow through your store/showroom. Identify any hotspots, bottlenecks and areas that get least attention.

3 LISTEN TO YOUR STAFF.

Your staff are your front line for interacting with your customers and will have valuable feedback. Make a point of talking to your salespeople regularly about customer reactions.

4 CHECK OUT THE COMPETITION.

Spend time observing what’s happening in your competitors stores. Remember his customer are also your customers. Don’t just limit your observations to stores selling the same products as you, you can get some great tips from completely unrelated industries.

5 EMAIL.

Where possible create a database of your customers and use it. Offer them incentives in return for feedback, as well as letting them know about offers.

6 SOCIAL MEDIA.

A great way to keep tabs on your customers is to find out what they are up to in their day to day lives. Follow them on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to see what their sharing and what services they are using.

7 USE YOUR SYSTEMS.

If you have an Inventory Management System use it. It will almost certainly produce reports telling you what products are selling by quantity, profit etc. Time spent analysing this information is invaluable, allowing you to cut quickly and deeply your slow sellers and ensuring your winners are in stock and well promoted.

8 READ REVIEWS.

Your customers are more likely to be honest on review sites or their own blogs than directly with you, so read up on what they are saying.

9 SEND A SURVEY.

Once you have a healthy customer list send them a survey. It’s easy using sites like Survey Monkey but remember to keep it short and sweet, include an incentive to complete them and be sure to respond promptly to any customers who voice concerns, compliments or complaints.

10 SUGGESTION BOOK/BOX

Make space and provide facilities for customers to leave you suggestions. You will be amazed and amused at their offerings and you just might pick up some useful little gems.

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