Learn what makes your heart beat.
How well do you know your customers? Any idea about what they had for brekkie today or how Netflix is a bane to their existence? Loyal clients are the lifeblood of any business, and an accurate and updated customer persona is a must-have tool to help you find, understand, engage, and ultimately convert your leads. This explains why big companies pour tons of money into market research.
Is it possible to give your customers exactly what they look for in a class or workshop, before they even realise what they want? Customer profiling can give you a clue, as you start to collect all sort of information about your customers and get a glimpse of their interests, habits, and preferences.
Try these five surefire ways to get to know your customers better, without breaking the bank!
Craft the right questions
Let’s start with the obvious. Nothing beats personal encounters when trying to get to know someone and, as you already know, teaching classes offers the best kind of facetime there is!
Grab this golden opportunity to ask the important questions. For example, one essential thing to find out is how did they hear about you? Was it on a Facebook post, an Instagram story, a Google ad? Perhaps, a friend happened to mention your class or share a recent blog feature about you. Getting this information provides fantastic insights about which marketing channels are actually doing their job and thus deserve a bit more of your ad spend.
Conversely, classes and workshops are also a great opportunity for your customers get to know you. Any chance to interact with them is always a win for your business and a useful avenue for discovering what they like about your class and what would entice them to book again and again with you. They may already know you by name but it’s always nice to put a friendly face to it.
Ask for a review
After each class, encourage your students to leave some feedback for you. If there’s a way to automatically ask for reviews, that’s even better! Positive comments online help spread the word about your services and give your company an advantage against your competition, by telling Google and potential students that you run an amazing business, as your five-star ratings will confirm.
For your customers, online reviews are a safe place to give feedback, constructive or otherwise. From the Yellow Pages and Yelp to Google and Facebook, review sites can make your business with high praise or break it with a careless remark. Whichever the case, when a customer does take time out to leave a online testimonial for you, make sure to thank them, take their comments on board, and act swiftly, when necessary.
Run a survey
A survey is yet another way to get honest and measurable feedback on your classes. Short questions that are answerable by “yes” or “no” work better, because these are more likely to trigger honest and immediate reactions than overdrawn or thought-out answers.
Keep your poll questions concise and to the point; too much literature and your customers might not take the time to read through all of it. But make sure to leave room for suggestions or comments, which most proactive people will appreciate. As with online review sites, surveys or polls afford them the anonymity and freedom to say what they really think, without fear of repercussion or retaliation.
For you, survey answers will help you better understand your customers and take that newfound knowledge to improve your product and your marketing.
Use social listening tools
Social media truly is a great way to interact with the public; it provides free and direct reach to potential and existing customers. But did you know that you can also use it to get insights about your audience, big revelations that no other marketing channel can provide?
Social listening or monitoring solutions like Mention, Hootsuite, and Buzzsumo are a must for every business with an online presence. These tools scour the Internet for every little mention about you and your brand and, if you ask, they will even inform you about what your competitors are up to and what influencers in your industry are saying and doing.
Bonus tip: If you’ve never looked under the hood of your social accounts, you’re missing out on a wealth of data about your customers. What are they saying, doing, reading, watching, buying, eating, or following online? They may not always like it or even know about it, but people share a lot about themselves, as these social graphs and charts will quickly reveal.
Finally, create your customer persona
The ultimate goal of this exercise is to create your own persona - the embodiment of your ideal customer, in 3D and in full colour. At WeTeachMe, we call her Jessica. Our Jessica is 29 years old and lives in Melbourne. She’s a serious foodie, owns an iPhone, and loves to cook. Right now, she’s in the market for a new, better-paying job. Just between us.
We love Jessica because she makes our jobs easier. Whenever we have questions about product development or marketing, we ask: What would Jessica do? What does she want? Will she like or hate this? Will this delight her, amaze her?
Here’s how you can create your basic persona:
- Start with the data you already have on your customers - how old they are, whether they’re single or married, if they have children, and what they do for a living.
- Got a website? Google Analytics will give you a general idea of where they are located, what devices they use, and even what they look at online.
- Facebook Ads will reveal what day and time they like to hang out on the world’s biggest social network, which companies or personalities they follow, what they click on, and if it leads to a purchase.
- Pull all that delicious data together (perhaps, in your preferred CRM software) to create your own customer persona.
Having your own Jessica around the office can help streamline your decision-making process. Do your research, ask the right questions, collect and store your data where you can easily access it, rinse and repeat, until you’re confident enough to say that you know your customer like the back of your hand.
So we ask again, is it possible to give your customers exactly what they look for, before they even realise what they want? We say yes, but only if you have your own Jessica to guide you and answer: #WWJD?