Getting insight into your customers is of critical importance to your ability to be able to meet your their needs. Often, the way many larger companies gain this customer insight is through conducting formal market research. Whether via surveys, in depth interviews, or conducting focus groups, learning more about your customer by hearing from them firsthand is invaluable.
One of the drawbacks of conducting formal market research is that it can be expensive. Don’t have the money to embark on a research study for your business? Don’t fret. There are many opportunities for you to capture the insights you need from your customers without having to blow your budget. Here are just a few ways:
- Have a conversation with them (not an interview, a conversation). Learn about who they are and what makes them tick.
- Listen to what they say, don’t say, complain about and even gush about (what they’re talking about doesn’t have to be related to your business).
- Pay attention to what they buy, when they buy, and how they buy. There’s is a ton of information in just their actions.
And as you get great info from your customers, don’t just store it all in your head. Write it down. The more people you talk to and engage with, the more information you will be able to gather. As you review what they’ve told you, eventually you will be able to spot trends. The more trends you spot, the better you understand what’s behind them, and the better position you will be in to turn it into useful ways to delight your customers.