Customer Relations 101: Understanding Customer Needs 

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Customer relations is no longer just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. This means providing great customer service is absolutely crucial to landing and keeping your dream customer – the one that pays, stays, and refers. 

What is customer relations anyway and why is it important? 

Customer relations is all about how a business interacts with its customers to build a positive relationship. On average, more than 60% of Americans reach out to some form of customer service every month – and when customers reach out for support, they want quick and helpful answers, not just a friendly chat. A bad experience can make things worse, but a good one can turn things around completely, making customers feel valued and satisfied.

There’s also engaging with customers through various channels collecting feedback and making improvements based on that feedback. Personalizing interactions and resolving issues quickly are key to making customers feel valued and appreciated. 

Good customer relations lead to satisfied customers who are more likely to come back, recommend the business to others, and contribute to the company’s success. It’s about creating trust, loyalty, and a great overall experience that sets the business apart from competitors.

But there’s a catch…

To deliver top-notch service, you first need to truly understand your customers. And you can’t do that unless you know exactly who they are.

Who are your customers, really?

A common mistake many founders make is assuming they know what their customers want, without really delving into who their customers are. 

❌ It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you understand your product, your customers will too.

✅ Often, your message needs to be clearer and more tailored to resonate with your actual audience. Think fourth-grade comprehension spoken in the way your target audience speaks.

❌ Asking friends and family for feedback can also be misleading. They might not represent your target market, so their opinions might not be relevant.

✅ Effective communication means creating messages that speak directly to the people who need your product.

So, how do you get to know your customers?

Start by creating a detailed customer persona. This helps you put a face on who your ideal customer is. Here’s how you can do it:

✨ Research, research, research

Do your homework to create a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Think of this as building a character in a story. Hone in on details like age, gender, job, education, family status, income, and anything else that might be relevant.

✨ Get Specific

Describe their behaviors, goals, needs, motivations, and the problems they face that your product can solve. Why would they be interested in your product? What do they hope to achieve? What challenges are they dealing with?

✨ Bring Them to Life

Give this persona a name and even a face. Find a photo or create an illustration to make them more real. This helps you empathize with and understand their perspective better.

Helpful Questions to Guide You:

  • What’s their name?
  • How old are they?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What level of education do they have?
  • What’s their family situation? Single? Married with kids?
  • How much do they earn? Is it a steady income?
  • What other brands do they buy from?

Hubspot has a wide range of examples of different kinds of personas you can create. You can also use free tools like those offered by Semrush, which can help you create detailed and accurate personas.

Creating an accurate customer persona isn’t something you’ll perfect overnight. It takes time and several tries. But once you nail it, your messaging will become much more effective. You’ll know exactly how to reach and engage your audience, making your business thrive.

In the end, providing exceptional customer service goes hand-in-hand with a deep understanding of your customer’s needs. It’s all about offering smart, personalized support. For example, boomers may not be the best market for automated customer support nor should VIP clientele be made to wait out a 24-hour window to receive email responses to their queries.

By really getting to know who your customers are, you can provide personalized, intelligent support that sets your business apart and keeps customers coming back. This could mean moving beyond traditional methods and using tools like automated self-service options that provide quick and relevant answers, no matter how customers choose to contact you – be it by phone, website, or mobile app.

When creating your customer persona, especially if it’s your first time, it can get confusing really fast. We’ve all been there, and we definitely feel you. Getting objective feedback and guidance can be crucial in moving past the doubts and uncertainty. Book a session with our experienced Selfmade mentors today. Not a member yet? Try Selfmade free for 7 days!

June 4, 2024

Emily Oberman