147 – What Do Your Customers Really Want?

importance of customer research

What Do You Do?

Let’s take a step back before discussing the importance of customer research. Before discussing what your customers really want – what do you do?

When you setup your online business, hopefully you put careful thought into what you do. You think about your craft, your processes and your products. You display all of this in a way that you hope will attract your customers. Then you craft good copy, take good photographs, set your prices well and much more.

You spend a long time developing your craft, refining it and marketing it. Then you develop your brand until you get to the point where you are feeling happy with it how it looks to your visitors.

What Do Your Customers Want?

But what do your customers want? I mean what do they really want not what do you think they want? It is easy to sell a few products. Because you sell them it is easy to assume that that is what your customers want. But have you taken the time to ask them? Have they been honest with you or simply told you what you want to hear?

importance of asking customers

Perhaps you have you developed your business based around what you do and think your customers want? Have you made assumptions without testing things? Have you based things around a small early audience but then grown your audience without adapting things to fully reflect your new bigger audience?

The Invisible Bridge

I like to think of marketing your online business as developing an invisible bridge. On one side of the bridge you set up your online presence. You define who you are and what you do and on the other side of the invisible bridge are your customers.

You can have a great online presence on your side of the bridge but if it doesn’t resonate with the customers on their side of the bridge they will not cross over to you no matter how well you define what you do. Customers will not be attracted to your side of the bridge. They will not purchase from you. They will not build relationships and become long term repeat customers with you.

Why Customer Research Is Important

Your goal is to get your customers to cross from their side of the bridge to your side. You achieve this by aligning everything on your side of the bridge so that it resonates with your customers on the other side. The more it resonates, the wider the bridge and the more customers will be able to cross the bridge.

For many this is often a case of trial and error. They will spend time developing new products. They will spend time experimenting with things such as a size, price, materials, framing options and much more. This is repeated until they hit the sweet spot where things start to happen and they start to make sales.

This is, however, the hard way to do things. It can be very time consuming as well as expensive. It can affect your confidence and can deter you from realising your dreams.

But there is an alternative. You can be direct and you can ask your customers. You can bypass all that trial and error and get your results much quicker. Once you understand the importance of customer research you can accelerate your business much quicker.

How To Find Out What Customers Want

It is much easier to ask customers in person when you meet them at shows and exhibitions. You can question them about work they are looking at, read expressions and body language and work out what they like and don’t like about your work. You can ask them what they would like to see and so on.

the importance of customer research at art shows

Online, however, all that changes. People simply don’t buy if your products don’t align with what they want and you have no idea why. They don’t simply interact and tell you – it is so much harder. You will perhaps get a few who do approach you and ask for something that you are not showing but the majority will simply look elsewhere without telling you.

You Don’t Get If You Don’t Ask

The key is to interact with your customers much more. Use every opportunity to ask questions in your social media, in your newsletters, in your blogs. Use surveys, ask for reviews. You can gain so many insights if you simply ask.

Don’t be put off if your only have a small audience and nobody responds. This is quite normal online. People have less time to interact in that space but get into the habit of asking. As your audience grows the feedback will grow too. Listen to the feedback. Adapt your presence according to the feedback so that it aligns more with what your customers want and far more will cross that invisible bridge.

Want To Take Customer Research Further?

I firmly believe that getting to know what your customers want is so important before you even start creating your online presence. So much that I have created a whole module about it in my new online course Simple Art Marketing Academy which will be released very soon.

It is something you should dig deep into at the beginning of creating your thriving online business. Getting this right will help it to grow year on year. It is also something that you should regularly come back to so that you stay in tune with your audience as it grows so that what you create continues to resonate with them as you move forward.

In my course I dig deep into the importance of customer research. I look at how to identify your ideal customer types and how to approach those types to conduct detailed interviews that can save you months and even years of trial and error trying to work things out the hard way. Watch out for my free masterclass shortly which will expand on things a little further!

How often and what methods do you use to get customer feedback?

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