Connecting with Your Customers
Your customers are continually evolving—keeping them engaged is essential to the success of your business.
As industry professionals and business owners, everything we make has to have a distinct purpose. Whether we code it, design it, write it, build it or create it—we must keep in mind that the ultimate goal of these executions should always be to garner a reaction out of the audience. Now, it doesn’t matter if that reaction is a change in opinion; the purchasing of a product; or the registering of an account, a meaningful reaction must take place or else any effort put into said executions were ultimately wasted.
That’s why it’s important to go into each and every project with a firm understanding of who you are creating for and how best to approach them. While it’s not always easy for your message to resonate with everyone, there are steps you can take to better succeed with this goal in mind.
1. Know who your potential customers are.
What does your audience have in common? Well, for one, aside from the obvious differentiators like demographics, they all have problems that require solutions. Discover what users want - the more you know about these problems, the better equipped you will be to address these issues. For instance, imagine your audience mainly consists of college students, who are growing weary of carrying too many books around. Not only do you have a median age range, but you also know their problem and how to address it based on the solution you provide. But, what if you dug a little deeper and discovered the size of the books; the average distance they’re walking between classes; and the flaws of current products on the market—each new piece of information gives you a deeper understanding of not only the audience, but how best to approach them.
On the flipside, it’s important to remember that non-customers should never factor into your thinking. If someone isn’t going to purchase your product or sign up for your mailing list, his or her concerns and issues should never be included. Otherwise, they may skew your findings in the wrong direction and cause your overall creation to be off base.
2. Present the problem and the product as one.
No matter how good your product or service may be, if you don’t associate it with the problem it’s meant to address, many people may never make the correlation. If you’re selling instant soup on the shelf, there’s a good chance people may purchase it out of convenience or because they’re a fan of the brand. However, you have a better chance of selling said product, if you give it a distinct purpose, such as helping active individuals avoid the afternoon slump. So, rather than rely on the product itself to make the sale, you’re giving customers a scenario that resonates. They can imagine it in their heads and actually visualize the solution. Without that upfront association, there’s a good chance they never would’ve connected the two.
3. Understand how their decisions are made.
If you want to influence the decisions of your customers, you must first understand their decision-making process. And in today’s all-digital world, this often begins with your website. Whether it’s booking a flight; researching a product; or finding a nearby restaurant—most decisions often originate on the web. Create website copy to present your company in the right light. How in-depth is the research your customers are doing? Are they basing their decisions on recommendations, reputation or design? Are they active on social media? Are you presenting the facts they need to be confident in their decision? There are so many questions to be asked when building your site. That’s why it’s important to partner with a professional digital agency. Their knowledge and insight can help determine if customers are more inclined to be influenced by facts, figures and infographics or if they prefer stunning visuals, videos and demonstrations. The combinations are endless, but the right team will know which combination to use.
4. Learn, anticipate and grow.
Ok, so now you know your audience and how to present your company to them. You’ve built a site that correlates to their decision-making process and engages them every step of the way. What happens now? You evolve. One of the best advantages the Internet has to offer is that it’s always-on. Your business has no opening or closing hours. Customers can retrieve the information they need; interact with your business; and learn more about your company at any time. Using this to your advantage is key. If you find that something isn’t working—correct it. Are your customers gravitating more and more toward Instagram? Sign up and connect with them. If winter is approaching and you know it would be a great time to create some buzz for your new product, do it! When it comes to your customers, the best thing you can offer them is quality, connectivity and authenticity. The more invested the audience, the more they want to see you grow and become a part of what you do. So, dig in, lean forward and allow your web presence to take on a life of its own.
From first understanding your customers to knowing how to approach and embrace them in the digital space, a digital agency can make all the difference in your efforts. While there’s no ‘right way’ to get things done, the right team can help you craft an overall plan that can spell success for you and your business. And that’s a purpose every digital agency should set out to achieve.