It seems there’s a special day to honor just about everything from National Grilled Cheese Day to National Hug a Drummer Day. It’s impossible to keep up with them all, but there is a particular day that small business owners should observe every day:
Get To Know Your Customers Day
Recognized on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, and October), Get to Know Your Customers Day is a day to make an effort to learn more about your customers.
In the last half of 2017, it falls on July 20 and October 19 (past dates in 2017 include January 19 and April 20).
But why only strive to get to know your customers once per quarter? Having a pulse on what your customers need, want, and will pay for is something entrepreneurs should strive for every day. Knowing your customers is critical to your business success because without doing so you cannot be sure you’re meeting your target market’s needs.
When you know your customers, you have the insight you need to:
- Adapt your products and services to meet your customers’ changing wants and needs.
- Deliver the value your customers expect.
- Build customer loyalty.
How can you get to know your customers better?
Not all customers will freely tell you about themselves, their lifestyles, what they’re looking for, or how they feel about your products and services. Fortunately, with relatively minimal effort, you can gather that information.
- Look at online customer reviews for information about their lifestyles and preferences. Besides sharing customers’ level of satisfaction, reviews can also educate you on how, where, and why customers are using your products and services. That can give you perspective on how you might improve or expand your offerings.
- Email individual customers “just because” to see what’s new with them. It’s a no-pressure way to show customers you value and care about them and to discover opportunities to serve them.
- Schedule one-on-one coffee dates or lunch meetings to catch up with them. If the nature of your business makes this feasible, consider setting aside some time to catch up face to face and learn what’s on your customers’ minds.
- Hold a customer appreciation event. This type of gathering will enable you to mix and mingle and learn more about your customers in a laid-back, friendly setting.
- Attend other organizations’ social events. Consider attending chamber of commerce mixers, non-profit golf outings, and other activities when you know your customers will be there. These occasions provide opportunities for casual conversation rather than just “talking shop.”
If you haven’t made getting to know your customers a priority in your small business, July’s Get To Know Your Customers Day is a perfect time to start.
For more ideas on ways to get to know your customers, talk with a SCORE mentor. With experience in all aspects of starting and running a business, SCORE volunteers can provide valuable guidance and feedback through every phase of your entrepreneurial journey.