Thanks to the Internet, smartphone applications, and similar types of technology, today’s consumers have more resources available to them to investigate a company and its products or services before initiating the first contact. Technology has also brought about a dramatic change in customer expectations. No longer content with a salesperson simply explaining features, the customer of today expects a personalized experience and insights into how the product or service can solve specific problems in their life.
To remain competitive, salespeople must think and act in entirely different ways than they did before the age of information. For better or worse, the interactions between salespeople and consumers is now a partnership.
Analyze Customer Patterns
Business owners eager to form better relationships with customers sometimes send the wrong message at the wrong time and then wonder why the customer didn’t respond to it. To get the timing and delivery platform just right, they must spend more time creating a unique customer profile. Here are some basic questions to notate about each customer every time he or she visits a store or makes a purchase through a salesperson:
- When was the customer’s last visit?
- How often does he or she visit the store or initiate contact?
- What items has the customer purchased in the past?
- What is the customer’s average spend per visit and total amount of spending since the first visit?
- Does any seasonal pattern exist to the customer’s shopping habits?
By analyzing this information, business owners and salespeople can target their message to each customer. Rather than send an email about a summer sale the customer has no interest in, for example, they can create a downloadable coupon for holiday shopping and place it on a social media site.
Consider Using an Integrated Analytics and CRM Tool
With so many tools to help companies analyze customer actions online, it can be difficult to know which ones to choose and how to organize them all. As one of the best-known companies in the customer relationship management sphere, Salesforce recently wrote about its integration of Marketing Cloud data with Google Analytics 360.
The integration enables a 360-degree views that truly helps businesses know their customers. Data insights include how customers found a website, how much time they spent on each page, whether they made a purchase, details of previous interactions with sales or customer service reps, and much more all from a single location. Even smaller companies can benefit from choosing a uniform suite of analytics tools.
Understand the Benefits of Strategic Partnerships
Businesses benefit when they work together to serve the same customer. Not only can they save money, each team can learn valuable tips from the other to increase the percentage of closed sales. This works especially well when one member of the partnership is in a better position to get to know customers and can share that information with the customer’s consent. Of course, the companies need to be different enough from one another to avoid anyone confusing them as close competitors.
Remember That Customer Satisfaction Isn’t Enough
Even when customers feel satisfied with how a company treated them, 80 percent never return for a second sale. A big reason for this is that they don’t feel engaged. Businesses can increase authentic engagement by using the above tips to know their customers better and then reach out to them in ways that they prefer.