It’s every retailer’s favorite time of the year: National Get to Know Your Customers Day.
In actuality, this customer-focused holiday is celebrated four times a year — that’s once every quarter. While CRM shouldn’t be limited to a quarterly schedule, Get to Know Your Customers Day serves as a nice reminder for retailers to stay on the alert for opportunities to engage with new and existing customers.
Customers are the most important asset to any business, so naturally CRM is a necessary process for retailers of all shapes and sizes. Take small businesses for example. Many small businesses struggle to compete with big brand names but can leverage their business model to find success in Get to Know Your Customers Day. Interacting with customers on a more personal level leads to increased brand loyalty and reliable insights into customer needs — both of which are extremely valuable to the health of a retail business.
Understanding customer needs essentially boils down to three questions:
- Who are you serving?
- How do your products or services meet their needs?
- How can you make them happy?
We know that you’re constantly working hard to better get to know your customers, understand their purchasing habits, and find ways to keep them engaged with your brand. Nonetheless, we thought National Get to Know Your Customers Day would be a good opportunity to highlight the importance of CRM.
Why is it important to know your customers?
Getting to know customers on a personal level can positively impact your bottom line. From increasing store traffic to boosting sales volume, customers that feel appreciated generate more sales. Building a positive relationship lets your customers know they can rely on your business for consistent success and results in long-term loyalty.
Larger businesses get to know their customers through market research. By identifying customer demographics and honing in on trends, large retailers can get to know customers groups and plan sales strategies accordingly. Smaller businesses can utilize their existing customer relationships to gain an interpersonal advantage. Going straight to the source can help understand customer needs and can provide insights into what your store is doing right and what can be improved upon.
If you haven’t already, you should look at Erply’s data collection tools. Erply’s reporting features let businesses generate reports on customer data, sales, and just about any other aspect of your business. The great part about Erply is that it’s easy to use, but powerful enough to create highly complex reports. Small businesses can be selective about what data they pull while full-blown marketing teams can generate extensive, highly detailed spreadsheets of data.
Here are a couple of ways you can get a better understanding of your customers, whether that be on Get to Know Your Customers Day or any other day of the year.
Improve Your In-Store Experience
It’s no secret that customers prefer a personal, interactive in-store experience. We’ve written before on the importance of creating a great in-store experience, but today we’ll look at it from an interpersonal perspective.
Getting to know your customers one-on-one is a typically overlooked way to create a better in-store experience. When you’re looking at the big picture, it can be easy to lose sight of your customers’ basic needs. Assess your in-store experience and see if any of the following can be improved upon:
- One-on-one interactions
- Product recommendations based on previous purchases
- Store loyalty rewards
To put it simply, customers want to feel like they matter. Taking the time to get to know your customers helps you better understand customer needs from a general perspective, which ultimately leads to more effective customer service.
Looking to better understand your customers’ needs or want to improve your CRM? Erply can help!
When you select a customer at the POS, Erply can be configured to immediately show their recent purchases. Did you customer recently purchase pet accessories? You can point out the sale that your store is having on pet feeding supplies. The POS can help you quickly make relevant product suggestions. Your customers will appreciate the recognition — and the savings.
Collect Valuable Customer Data
Whether you’re looking to understand your customers, update your purchasing strategy, or expand your marketing efforts, customer data is a vital resource.
We mentioned loyalty programs above and wanted to emphasize how setting up a loyalty program creates a win-win situation for you and your customers. Offering a loyalty program gives your customers the opportunity to earn discounts and coupons simply for shopping at your store. That alone will result in higher store traffic and increased purchases.
The other benefit of creating a loyalty program is that it presents itself as an opportunity for you to easily collect customer data. With Erply’s built-in loyalty program, you can require your customers to enter their name, email, or any other contact information before being eligible for loyalty rewards.
Data is valuable for businesses trying to understand customer needs but can be difficult to acquire. Incentivising customers to give away their data will help you better get to know your customers. Use Get to Know Your Customers Day as an opportunity to attract customers by promoting your store’s loyalty program.
How Can You Use Get to Know Your Customers Day to Your Advantage?
Do you have to wait until one of the four Get to Know Your Customers Days to appreciate your customers? Absolutely not! Plenty of businesses host customer appreciation days according to their own calendars. Maybe your business has a big milestone coming up or you’ve hit a slow part of the year — both mark excellent opportunities to ramp up your CRM strategies.
If you’re celebrating Get to Know Your Customers Day or are looking for CRM inspiration, we have a few suggestions on how you can make strategic use out of customer appreciation.
Limited-time promotions are a tried-and-true way of generating additional sales. Try to tie your promotions into an event (hint: Get to Know Your Customers Day), customer demographics (think seniors and students), or even product availability. Your customers will appreciate the money they save, and you’ll get a better understanding of the promotions that they respond best to.
There are plenty of ways to offer unique and interactive promotions to your customers, including:
- Double reward points earned
- Social media promo codes
Additional Customer Service Trainings
A training every now-and-again on customer etiquette can be extremely beneficial for your business.
Have you ever gone into a coffee shop and the barista remembered your order? Or maybe you’re friendly with a store manager and they occasionally slap a small discount onto your order. Even a little bit of familiar chit-chat at the register is a huge improvement than interacting with an uninterested, burnt out employee.
Use this time to reiterate to your employees the importance of understand your customers and creating a friendly, responsive store environment. If a customer has a poor in-store experience they might not be so keen on returning. Store traffic is becoming more and more valuable in today’s Amazon culture and retailers have many tools available to create a positive in-store experience.
Don’t limit education to the employee level — you can offer in-store workshops to generate store traffic and keep customers interested in your brand. A pet store might give a free pet training course or a tech store might give hardware demos to customers. Creating a unique store experience helps you understand customer needs based on who attends your workshops and what workshops were most effective.
We talked about the importance of a great in-store experience, and an event is a perfect way to emphasize why customers should come to your store. Prepare your staff to be product experts during events, and emphasize what makes your business a local industry leader. By attracting customers into your store, you build their trust and increase the likeliness that they will return.
Concluding Get to Know Your Customers Day
CRM plays a huge role in the success of a retailer, and there are plenty of ways that you can build lasting customer relationships. Get creative with your CRM strategies! You might publicly celebrate Get to Know Your Customers Day, or you might discreetly use it as an opportunity to test new promotion strategies. Whenever Get to Know Your Customers Day rolls around, you should treat it as a reminder to reassess your CRM initiatives and set new customer satisfaction goals.
In the spirit of the holiday, we wanted to point out that you can always check out the #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay hashtag on Twitter for ideas on how other stores appreciate their loyal customers!
Remember, don’t forget to appreciate your customers by showing them extra love once in a while. After all, your business couldn’t run without them!