When starting a business, marketing plans and business plans always form an integral part of the set up process. Not only is this necessary for financial reasons, banks and investors, but it also serves as a focus and a way of redirecting your efforts in the right direction.

Any entrepreneur will start off attempting to find a niche in the market. They usually try and establish a gap in the market and strategically place themselves among a business’s competitors, for example establishing themselves as a low cost provider or a differentiator.

When a business begins to flourish and word of mouth marketing grows legs sometimes these plans become stagnant and one must ask themselves, do I know my customer. If you are reading this and feel that you have lost touch with your customers, it is time to take a step back and consider asking your customers for feedback.

You should be asking yourself what is their specific problem and what is your product or service doing to help them solve that problem. You may be doing it well and this customer may be very impressed with your product and service offering but it is how you bottle that success and replicate it with future customers.

Any business owner needs to ask themselves what their goal is, where do they want to be and when do they want to be there. Embarking on an elaborate marketing campaign and diversifying into international markets is not always the answer as at the end of the day, customers are what makes a business.

Customers create the bottom financial line and why reach out to international markets when you do not fully understand why your offering is valuable, why your offering is the best and why you are different from your closest competitor.

Capturing customer feedback is a great way to identify what makes your customers tick, why they use your product and also what they dislike. Whatever method an organisation uses to capture feedback, one should enquire about demographic details and ensure to ask for contact lines. To comply with GDPR, ask those who provide their details if they would mind being contacted.

Customers are human and they like to talk. An effective technique is randomly contacting 5 customers who have purchased your product or service in the past month and checking in with them.

Once a conversation is opened, a relationship is further nourished and customers who may have had a somewhat negative experience will feel valued and it is at this point where they will feel like further engaging.

Reaching out to customers is key to refocusing marketing and selling efforts, not an outdated marketing plan. Customer feedback is real time data and will not only add value to the business, but to customers and their relationship with your product or service. It is a win win situation for both the company and its customers.

There are various methods to capture customer feedback. For more information on capturing customer feedback, please contact info@tellusfirst.ie.

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