Thinking Like a Customer to Get Your Small Business Off the Ground
When you start out in business, there’s an incredible amount of pressure to take a completely professional stance. Why? Well, it shows that you’re taking yourself and your brand seriously at the same time as giving customers confidence in you, trusting that you’ll provide a reliable service. However, it’s also important that you don’t completely lose a grip on the consumer inside you. Why? Well, you need to understand the people you intend to sell to. By thinking like a consumer, you will be able to take their needs and requirements into account. At the end of the day, you need to meet these needs and requirements to secure sales, make a profit, and see a success in your entrepreneurial pursuits. Here are just a few areas where you need to think like a customer to provide the best service possible.
Incorporating User Experience into Your Website
The main base of your online business will be your website. Now, think of all of the times you’ve clicked on a site, only to close the tab moments later. This is exactly what you don’t want your customers to do. So think of what it is that makes you stay on a page and what it is that makes you want to leave. You need to incorporate the positives into your web design. Remember that your webpage essentially replaces the traditional storefront, serving as the space in which potential customers will browse what you have to offer, place goods in their basket and hopefully complete sales, generating profit for you. However, much like a traditional brick and mortar store, the layout and general aesthetic of your online store will have a profound impact on your conversion rates. If your web users have a positive experience with your webpage, they’re more likely to spend, recommend your brand to others, and return time and time again. This is why you have to place so much focus and importance on user experience. It quite literally determines whether your company will be a success or not. So how do you go about understanding user experience and incorporating it to the best of your ability? Well, you need to understand what your customers want. Chances are that you don’t have all too much free time to spend researching your customers’ preferences yourself and without this basic knowledge, you won’t be able to place yourself in your clients’ shoes and edit your site accordingly. Luckily, a user experience agency will be able to do all of this on your behalf. These freelance professionals employ research-based data acquired through driven research to design and tailor your site, meeting your target audience’s demands. Not only will this increase the traffic directed to your site in the first place, but the increased user experience (technically termed “UX”) will ensure that people stay on your site, browse your goods and boost your conversion rates. Perfect!
Nowadays, the majority of people have social media profiles. Chances are that you have them and the majority of people you know have them! After all, by the end of 2017, 2.46 billion people were active on social media. Take a look around the next time you’re in a public space. No matter where you are, numerous people will have their eyes directed down to their phones, scrolling through Facebook newsfeeds, the Instagram explore page, and Twitter feeds. If you’re thinking like a consumer, you’ll be reaching for your phone and directing your attention to social media for around one hour and forty minutes every single day. Now, back to your business mindset! Use this to your advantage! If the average person is spending that long on social media, you should be aiming to use this as a way to direct your business and its products or services into their consciousness. The first step towards doing this is to set up social media profiles for your company. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most popular and are consequently the ones you should focus on the most. Each should have a different focus. We’ll go into further detail for each below.
The main professional benefit of Facebook is keeping your business in your potential customers’ site. Once they follow your page, any updates that you post will appear directly on their timeline. So even if they’ve forgotten that they’ve followed you, you’ll be able to bring your wares back to their attention easily. Use this to your advantage, drawing their attention to new product launches, special offers, sales, and special events. Another benefit of using Facebook is that you can supply customers with further information about your business on your business’ page. If you have a tangible store, ensure to add its address, hours of operation, and contact telephone number. People are much more likely to search this information online than to phone up and ask, so it’s best that it’s easily accessible. Finally, enable the “chat option”. One of the general public’s prime uses for Facebook is the messenger app, which they use to talk to others. Having this option will give people a space to enquire about products, services, or problems.
Instagram is primarily a visual platform. What do you expect when you sign in? Plenty of aesthetically pleasing pictures. While it may not provide the ideal space for you to have meaningful interaction with your customers, it’s not where they’d go in search of this. Instead, give them what they expect: a well-curated feed of your latest products shown in their best light. It’s as simple as that!
Why do you use Twitter? Well, for short amusing tweets and short announcements. So give your followers what they want! Either go with Denny’s approach and use Twitter for amusing engagements with the general public or reserve it for announcements regarding new products.
As you can see, standing in your customers’ shoes for a moment allows you to understand their hopes, needs, and expectations. By meeting these, you will gain a more loyal following and secure increased numbers of sales, getting your small business off the ground!