Have you ever stood in a checkout line and heard the entire life history of a sweet old lady in line behind you?
While it might be a little frustrating, you know reminiscing makes her happy so you smile and nod. Her words go in one ear and out the other…
But, if you listen closely, you’ll learn a lot in a short time. You’ll hear what’s important to her, her beliefs, family stories, financial habits, and even her problems.
The little old lady in line behind you might not be your ideal customer. But, she can teach you something vital to increasing your conversions: how to listen.
When you can learn personal things about your target market just by listening, it’s easier to increase conversions.
That’s why, instead of playing the guessing game to figure out your customers, you can get all the personal information you need—and more—just by listening.
How To Get Your Customers Talking
Getting your customers to tell you what you want to know is actually fairly easy. Just ask. Here are six easy ways to get your customers to open up to you:
1. Encourage communication.
Telling your customers you want to hear from them will increase the feedback you get from them. It only takes a few minutes to add “contact us” or “tell us what you think” prompts throughout your website and your marketing messages.
Also, clearly state that you appreciate any feedback customers are willing to give. Welcome their feedback because it will tell you what you’re doing right and things you should reconsider.
Savvy marketers also use a “speed assurance” statement (like the ones above) when asking for feedback. This essentially says you’ll get back to the customer’s comments, questions, and concerns in a timely manner.
2. Open more lines of communication.
It may seem obvious that the more ways you have for your customers to communicate with you, the more often they’ll do it. Why? Because they can use the method they’re most comfortable with.
For example, in addition to a form, add your social media links, email address, phone number, and physical address. Then, if someone doesn’t want to fill out the form, they can email you directly.
3. Engage with customers on social media.
Having a strong social media presence—where you listen to your customers and help them solve their complaints—will always boost your conversions.
Not only does it show you have social influence, but it also lets potential customers know you’re reliable and trustworthy.
Many customers now reach out through a social network before they go to a company’s website. For my online retail business more than half our customer-initiated contacts are through social media instead of our contact form. And, that number is growing!
4. Ask for testimonials.
If you don’t ask, you’re not likely to receive. Boost your positive feedback—and your conversions—by asking for feedback or testimonials.
Plus, the testimonials you receive have other benefits:
- Use the customer feedback to get ideas for new products and marketing phrases.
- Get repeat sales by offering a coupon code in exchange for feedback.
- Increase your social media exposure by posting the testimonials on your social profiles.
- Find areas where you can improve (so you’ll get better conversions next time).
5. Use simple surveys to get targeted responses.
Social media conversations can be quite random. If you want to hear more specific things from your customers, try creating a simple survey. One of my clients had no idea what his next product should be. We sent a survey to his list and within days had enough data to create a year’s production schedule.
A word of warning, however. Surveys have become a regular thing online and many customers are becoming frustrated with them. Clearly tell them what’s in it for them if they complete your survey. That benefit could be anything from better service to a free report they can’t resist.
Also, to ensure the highest response rate possible, keep the questions simple and straightforward. Use multiple choice or True/False where possible and eliminate any questions that aren’t vital to your mission. I also recommend ending the survey with an optional text area for other comments. You’ll be surprised how many people take the time to say something even if it’s optional.
6. “Stalk” your customers in their natural habit.
Your target market probably has a place they hang out online. Visit other websites and forums in your industry to see what your target market is saying when they think you’re not listening. Also, look for common occurrences. For example:
- Do the majority of your Facebook fans also “Like” yoga studios? Maybe there’s a promotion strategy there.
- Who else does your Twitter following follow? There may be a joint venture opportunity there.
- What days and times are your ideal customers active online? That’s when you should be too.
Customers are a vital part of your business—that’s why it’s so important to listen to them. But then what?
3 Tips for Using Your Customer’s Words to Increase Conversions
Listening to your customer is a great start, but you also need to pick out the most important feedback and put it to use. Here are some ideas for utilizing what your customers tell you:
1. Write and update your website and marketing materials.
One of the best ways to increase conversions on your website and connect with your visitors is to “speak the same language” as your target market. Use the feedback and information you get from them—including the words, phrases, and slang they use—in your copy to connect with your readers and boost your conversions.
Also, if they often bring up the same concerns or questions, you can address those on your website to cut back on support requests and increase conversions.
2. Give them what they ask for.
If their requests are reasonable, increase conversions by giving them what they want. For example, if they’re asking for a more generous refund policy or guarantee you may want to consider it.
Also, enhance your content marketing strategy by answering their questions in your articles and blog posts.
3. Profit with new products (or update current products).
If you’re listening to your customers, they’ll tell you what keeps them up at night. Pay special attention because this is the stuff they’ll pay for. For example, if you’re in the personal productivity niche and your customers keep saying they struggle with getting started, create a product to get them unstuck.
Much is said about the value of listening, but when it comes to listening to your customers, the value is actual dollars. Master the art of listening with the tips above and you’ll soon see your conversions—and income—increase!
Are you currently listening to your customers? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below…
Check out other Crazy Egg posts by Christina Gillick.