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If you’ve followed our step-by-step guide to developing an effective marketing strategy, you will have already worked out who your ideal clients are (if you haven’t, we suggest you do this first – you can read our blog on this here).
Your existing clients may or may not match your ideal client avatar, but whether they do or not, they’re a great resource to turn to for insights into how to build a successful marketing strategy. Talking to your existing clients makes a lot of sense: they have already like what you do and have invested in their relationship with you – they are therefore probably more than happy to give you a bit of their time to help you become even more successful.
There are several ways in which you can gather your clients’ views on what they think of your brand, your products/services and the customer experience that you offer, including:
Surveys are a great way of getting a broad overview of what you’re doing. They don’t have to be complicated; in fact, the simpler they are, the more responses you are likely to get. You may have survey capacity within your CRM software, alternatively SurveyMonkey offers free surveys of up to 10 questions and up to 100 responses.
If you run an e-commerce business, you have a wonderful opportunity to get extensive customer feedback through your reviews.
Social media is not just for putting your point across: it’s also a place for listening! If you’re doing social media properly, you should be engaging in two-way, real-time dialogue with your followers and targets, so nothing out there should come as a shock to you.
Social media will also give you insights as to why some of your ideal clients are choosing to go elsewhere – looking at your competitors’ profiles can be as insightful as drilling down into your own.
Great for getting under the skin of your relationship with key clients, preferably those who most closely fit your ideal client avatar. But as well as interviewing your current clients, it can also be really insightful to talk to the ones that got away – if they match your ideal avatar, it can really help to understand why they are no longer with you or why you didn’t win your tender to them.
You’ll get the best results if you structure the interview and approach your customer beforehand to agree a mutually convenient time when you can talk uninterrupted over the phone or a coffee. Be realistic about how long this will take, and ask them to set aside time accordingly, allowing for the fact that you may want to go off-piste with your questioning if they say something you hadn’t anticipated that you want to follow up.
Your exact questions will depend upon your company structure and offering, but some of the basics that will help you devise a successful depth interview include:
Understanding why your clients buy from you – and why they don’t – will give you key insights to help shape an effective marketing strategy.