Last week we learned what a customer avatar is and the data points that help create one. This week we build your customer avatar and learn a new marketing technique.
Building Your Avatar
As you know, a customer avatar represents your ideal customer. To build your customer avatar, it helps to think of an actual person. What products does she buy? What is she looking for?
After thinking of an individual, expand to your customer base. What questions come up frequently? Are you getting similar comments on your social media posts? These areas are great places to start to determine where to focus your efforts. If you still need ideas, check out our Customer Avatar Worksheet or consider sending a survey to your clientele.
Once you know your customer the next step is to foster those relationships. There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace to cut through; how can you fulfill your customer’s hopes?
Enter generosity marketing. Generosity marketing is based on the theory if you give something away for free, it instills a sense of trust between you and your customers and lays the foundation for returning customers. The alternative (offering promos and discounts) is a more assertive sales tactic and makes customers feel like targets.
Offering things like rewards programs, giveaways, events, and charitable commitments are all pieces of generosity marketing. Being a thought leader is too. Applying these and enhancing the sense of trust between you and your customers are all excellent ways to elevate your business from the competition.
Inspiration for this post came from “Customer Avatars and Generosity Marketing” by Flossie Arend published in the October 2022 issues of American Quilt Retailer. Next week we’ll cover the second part of this post: marketing to your avatar.
If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to Creative Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.
We all know that with having customers inevitably complaints will come. Brush up on your customer service skills to turn customer dissatisfaction into a positive experience.
Statistics about Complaints
Did you know that a customer who has a positive experience after a complaint will outspend a the average customer? That’s because this customer now has higher confidence with your business.
Another thing to note is 93 percent of customers are more likely to return and shop with a business if the business offers excellent customer service.
With that in mind, check out this 8-Step process of addressing customer concerns.
- Thank them. Recognize the customer is spending time to inform you of their dissatisfaction instead of taking to social media or telling their friends.
- Do you have the authority to help with their request? If not, get someone who can. Nobody likes repeating their story twice. (Note to owners, give your employees more power to help customers so you can focus on the larger aspects of running a business.)
- Listen to the complaint. The average complaint takes just 45 seconds to tell.
- Take notes. Don’t hesitate to be silent; just inform them you’re making notes so you can come to the best solution.
- Ask more questions to clarify. This will help to calm your customer further.
- Ask what would they like to make them happy. It’s bold, but you’ll be surprised by the answers you receive. Some customers won’t be expecting much at all.
- Act on it. Don’t tell your customer that what you’re doing is an exception, that will hurt more than it will help.
- Thank your customers again.
Inspiration for this post comes from “Thanks for Your Complaint,” by Tom Shay published in the October 2021 Issue of American Quilt Retailer.
If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.
Inbound Marketing is a relatively new marketing technique that draws customers to your business through content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding.
Read on to find out if inbound principles are something your business should adopt.
The Five Inbound Marketing Principles
The five principles of Inbound Marketing are designed to make your business top of your customers’ mind.
- Know your audience. Before writing copy and blasting off messages through your social media channels, know your buyer persona. Identify your buyer’s problem, and cater your messaging to respond to that.
- Understand your buyers journey. One of the biggest turnoffs is when a business is desperate for a sale. What stage of the buying journey is your customer at? Are they looking for more information? How can you assist in that way?
- Provide value. If your sales clerks are trained to give a pitch, ask yourself if that pitch is always necessary. Be sure you train your employees to be able to respond to the customers needs, not just your business’s needs. In addition to in person changes, what about your website? Do you have a blog? Providing opportunities for education is the best way to add value to your customer.
- Promote it, and they will come. Search engine optimization is important during this step, but so is delivering the right messages at the right stage of the buying process.
- Trust is the most important value. According to Inbound Marketing, trust is built throughout the process. This means, in summary, you understand your audience and their needs, deliver the messages they want at the correct stage in their buying process, and remain helpful for current and future purchases.
For more information on Inbound Marketing, consider reading blogs by Hubspot.com, or purchase Inbound Content.
If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.