This is part 2 of 2 for the blog post series "Improve your small business by doing ONE thing - Personalized Marketing Experience"
In the first part I talked about the importance of creating a personalized marketing experience for your customers. I explained and explored the definitions of marketing, personalized, management and customer service. I also explained how they're all interconnected and which statistics you need to gather.
Now we're going to talk about the Customer Database.
How did a customer find out about you?
Asking a customer how (s)he found about you is not only trivial it's necessary!
I'll ask you one question:
What's the cost per customer for their personalized marketing experience?
Well, you can only calculate this if you know HOW the customer found out about you.
This means that you need to set up and use a system that asks the customer this question all the time!
Even if they happened to come by your shop physically. Ask them! It's probable they found out about you from your website. Or someone told them! Either way, this will help you focus your marketing reach.
Knowing HOW and WHERE will help you create a vision and you'll know exactly which marketing experiments work and which don't.
This also means that you can invest more time and money in those that have positive results.
It can be something as simple as a paper form where you ask some feedback including this question as the first one.
Or you can even ask online when the customer places a purchase.
Your contact form can also contain a field which (s)he can select.
These are all extremely simple things to implement. They're so simple most of the people forget to do them! Simple yet extremely relevant.
This step is critical when talking about the acquisition cost per customer. Which marketing experiments YOU need to keep doing and which you need to change.
Why a personalized marketing experience is cost effective
The price of getting a new customer from an unknown prospect is extremely high depending on many factors. The average conversion rate for many businesses and industries is somewhere around 1% to 3%.
This means that from all the prospects and traffic you've had maybe only 1 or 3 in 100 will actually buy. This is especially true for online shops.
If you had or have a customer who bought a product or service from you then this is your chance to create a viable relationship.
The profit margins you can generate from existing customers are MUCH more viable than those of potential leads.
Take Apple as an example. People continually buy their products. This is what YOU want to do EACH and EVERY day.
I have had clients tell me that they were doing a one-off service for their customers. They "believed" that the likelihood of the customer returning was slim.
Think of a small bed and breakfast in a small touristic town. Or a Photographer for weddings.
Can you imagine the impact of such desolation thinking can have on your business?
Sure enough, the tourists are probably not going to come back to that same town in the near future. Nor is the happy couple thinking of getting married again and having wedding pictures in the near future.
It's not about selling the same product or service to the same people again. It's about creating a personalized experience that will make them remember you. Rings a bell to what I've talked about earlier?
There's a reason why I accentuate the fact that each customer is extremely important.
There are many times when you could think that a service or product is only going to be bought once and it doesn't matter or it's not worth pursuing repeat business.
Yet when a customer comes and buys something he made the subconscious and conscious choice to chose YOU instead of all the other products and services on the market. He could have gone with the competition but no, he chose to do business with YOU.
This is WHY you need to treat each customer interaction with care and personalize every marketing experience.
Just stop and reflect on it. Probably 100 people reviewed your services or passed by your products yet there is this one person who bought your service/product. Why not make it something he will remember and be delighted to come again. If You made him or her feel so good he can even refer his friends, family or acquaintances?
There are studies which show that people buy based on what they perceive from others they know. Even weak ties like people you don't know that well. Why the heck would you pass such an opportunity?
The world is interconnected. Connection leads to remembering your great services. The power of weak ties lies in the fact that they can introduce and provide referrals leading to new businesses in similar domains.
Now let's get to the how.
Customer Database - It's simple, straightforward and you can do it NOW
Create a customer database where you constantly add customer information.
Whenever a customer buys something ask for their details. If they're hesitant then you can provide certain incentives. Think of: free future discounts, awesome information maybe a free 2-hour workshop with consulting?
There are hundreds of ideas.
All you need is a name, telephone number and e-mail address to start with. Try to do it GDPR wise so the customers have a sense of trust by telling them they won't get any spam nor will you sell these details.
Even if you're not in the US, privacy and security are number one. You wouldn't like to be on the list of companies that have been pwned and compromised, do you?
Having a database of what people bought, when they bought it and some personal details can help you do the Data Science aspect we've referred to earlier.
I'm a big Data Science and statistics fan. It always provides me warmth on the inside whenever I see a customer who has done the preliminary homework of gathering data.
Making some simple statistics of who your customers are after 1 year of business is going to help you hundreds of times more than externalizing the marketing process to some company that will start to do some market research on "who your customers will most likely be". You need to know who your actual customers are to be able to target new ones.
Sure, if you want to target new customers this is great, but why not target existing customers and get to know how you're seen and how you can improve?
Targeting existing customers and their preferences leads to the creation of so-called "persona's" which in turn will lead you to know who your customers are and how to target them.
I can guarantee you with certainty that those personas will lead to awesome innovative marketing procedures which will, in turn, your focus to specific customers that will help you increase your profits.
DO THIS: Each time a new customer or an older one gets in touch, ask for their details.
Be sure to build your newsletter following at this step too! Ask for permission to add them to your newsletter list explaining about the benefits and discounts. (Will provide a link to newsletter article in the future)
Gathering Customer Feedback
In order for you to improve and know if your personalized marketing experience is working you need to get feedback. Feedback at every step. Feedback for each action you take.
Data Science is going to provide some feedback when you use analytics. For the rest of the feedback you just need to ask questions.
The feedback gathering process doesn't need to be complex. We're going after simplicity.
You can be extremely subtle and send them a small personalized e-mail 24 to 48 hours later thanking them for their purchase and instantly providing something of value and asking feedback.
All big companies do this, why wouldn't you do this too? It only takes a small portion of time and the benefits are huge.
Create a small survey of 5 questions and ask for their opinions on your services or products.
Create a script you can use via the phone in case you talk with your customers predominantly on the phone. Implement it with SurveyMonkey or with google forms to send it via mail.
Give incentives for feedback by providing them a voucher they can use themselves or give to someone in the near future. This is the true essence of guerrilla marketing.
Your survey can look like this:
- How pleased are you about our services? 1 (not pleased at all) to 5 (extremely pleased)
- What service/product would you like to see in the future?
Asking customers to fill in their vision will give you new ideas of products and services and will make you understand what your customers actually want. Now, what they want is not what they need so care must be taken to understand these differences.
Incentives and Vouchers
Incentives and Vouchers are great ways to get your foot in the door and get new customers.
About vouchers: Make it so that it has an expiration date.. 30 to 90 days. 5% 10% or 15% for purchases of above this value ___
Be creative. Give each voucher a unique NUMBER! And put it in a database. You can use an excel sheet (or Open Office Calc which is free!), an online e-commerce or the tools I provide for my customers.
This way you will know who referred to whom and will keep a track of how you're doing.
If you do give incentives when a customer filled in a feedback form please remember this. Only ask for feedback once every 30~90 days otherwise people will fill in the surveys all the time.
Remember, gather data at each point.
There are many more things that you'd want to pay attention to. I'm working on a specific course and an ebook about this and will release it until the end of 2019.
WHATEVER YOU DO NEVER GIVE OUT THESE DETAILS TO ANYONE ELSE. Your customer data must be kept secret and confidential.
During my 12-week Personalized Marketing Experience service I'll show you how to easily give vouchers which will increase the likelihood of customers giving you feedback and referring others.
Keep in touch with customers
Keeping in touch with customers can be tricky. Depending on your industry, producs and services you will also need an unique way to keep in touch.
You'll be surprised that keeping in touch is NOT posting on facebook or on twitter. It's deeper than that.
What you need to do right now:
- Start building a database.
- Gather data. Make it easy for yourself and your employees to add data
- You can do the data science part afterward or even ask someone like me for some help.
Having a developer on call
If you're having doubts or problems in how you could do these simple things then let's get in touch.
Ask me your questions, tell me about your marketing experiences, exploits and problems, post them in the comments or send me an e-mail.
You can always read part 1 where I discuss the various concepts and definitions of a personalized marketing experience
If you love what I've written then we can surely collaborate. I provide a 12-week Marketing Experience program which will change the way you do business forever.