Today’s post is from Velaro, a live-chat software company. Learn more about Velaro at: www.velaro.com
Customer experience has become a major differentiator in the digital world of one-click, mobile-friendly convenience that we now find ourselves in. In order to provide an exceptional customer experience, you must understand your customers –and herein lies the importance of market research.
Market research helps you establish confidence, advance your relationship-building efforts, and identify new business opportunities in a way that also demonstrates leadership to your current and prospective customers.
The Importance of Market Research to Establishing Confidence
In terms of establishing confidence, the importance of market research lies in being an actual expert.
Prospective first-time customers, after they’ve determined that your company may offer a viable solution to a problem they have, are going to ask themselves: “Does this organization truly understand my needs (are they experts?) or are they just saying what they think I want to hear?” The key words there are “just” and “think.” You are a business, so they understand you are looking to make money by helping them with their needs. However, when it seems your focus is more on profit than on providing an excellent product/service, and that you are telling them what you think they want to hear rather than what they need to know to succeed, you lose their confidence. And that’s hard to come back from (make sure your sales and marketing teams understand that!).
Market research assists with this by cluing you in to what it is your prospective customers really do care about. The onus is still on you to incorporate that into your offerings and to present it in a way that customers can relate to (though market research can help with that as well, see Advancing Relationship-Building below).
The differentiator here is that you aren’t pretending to be an expert – you are using data-based intelligence to ensure your business is providing the best-fit solution for the market you’re looking to serve, and serve better than any potential competitors.
The Importance of Market Research to Advancing Relationship-Building
In terms of relationship-building, the importance of market research lies in being a part of your prospective customers’ “tribe”.
Just as market research helps establish confidence by giving you the intelligence you need about what your target audience is looking for, market research can also help you engage them more effectively by giving you intelligence about other interests and habits of theirs. Maybe they use Pinterest moreso than Instagram, maybe they are more likely to own multiple cats rather than one cat or a dog or any other pet, maybe they prefer sitting at home and watching Netflix to going out to the movie theater.
Your marketing team particularly can make great use of this information, by using the communication channels and other spaces your target market gathers in, sharing the content they care about, and creating promotions that are relevant to them. This is more about being relatable than being an expert, but that is also an aspect of creating an exceptional customer experience.
The Importance of Market Research to Identifying Business Opportunities and Demonstrating Leadership
By looking at trends in your customers’ and prospective customers’ demographics and buying behaviors, you can identify possible up-sell, cross-sell, and/or partnership opportunities. The importance of market research here is having the actual data to support executive-level intuitions about what direction to move the company in to facilitate growth.
By growing the company in a way that reflects your target market’s needs, you are helping to bring that market a more comprehensive solution. Effective leaders not only have the right vision of what needs to happen next but are able to draw upon the talents of others to help make that vision a reality. Here, market research is helping you to not only position yourself as a leader but to truly be one.
As with any customer experience strategy, you help your business best by helping your customers better than anyone else.