Develop new products and services
The key to developing new products and services is conducting very thorough Market Research. Ensure you have a good quality database. Gather customer data – as much as possible, a name and email address is a good start.
How to collect customer data
First and foremost, do not harass customers for data. Endless form filling is enough to put a consumer off a purchase. Data collection has to be either unintrusive or incentivised. Collect data bit by bit to build up a full picture of your customer gradually.
Obtain contact details and begin building a transaction history, whether on or offline (although online makes it easier as data can automatically be entered into a database).
If it is an online transaction, you can add an optional section requesting more information, phrasing it in a way that appeals to the customer. You can also use this technique if a customer has to register an account with you.
Record your customers’ purchases – if you are able to tag their purchase on your system and find out what a customer is buying, you can build a very valuable database of their buying patterns
Analyse the total sales data – you can analyse what products are selling in total (not by the individual customer). This data can be used for promotions and marketing plans and also the buying plans for the next period
Analyse the individual customer data – once you have the data at the customer level, you can analyse what each customer is buying. This data can be used for promotions and marketing to a specific customer segment; if they bought a product once, they are likely to buy it again
Make the customer feel happy – offer a discount, VIP event or special offers so the customer feels valued and continues to buy from your business give them a free coffee or cake every now and then
Different types of loyalty schemes that you may want to consider:
There are a multitude of loyalty schemes that are in operation in all areas of business, currently, and no doubt you may be able to develop some more unique ones. Here are some examples for you to consider.
Traditional – customer registers to a scheme with card and stamps
Traditional – locally via town and local-based forum to develop promotional team activity
Online – customer registers and subscribes to a newsletter and gets promotional vouchers with codes to redeem
Online – customer registers and subscribes to an online scheme given a credit card sized loyalty card which is scanned at the till or used online with card number
Online – schemes using downloadable apps. You can create your own apps to provide special offers for your targeted customers. Your customer downloads the free app to their mobile device[/mk_toggle][vc_column_text]
Now you can do a number of activities to research what new products or services your customers or potential customers want or need.
If you run a survey on your business, you can obtain a fair amount of information by asking details about their profile (gender, age, etc). While some respondents may be reluctant to give their name, some will. Regardless, you will get a clearer picture of your overall target customer which is the aim here.
Run a competition asking for basic contact information and email address. Customers will be more inclined to share personal data when they have something to gain from it.
Online can help you track spending habits and user preferences enabling you to get an overall picture of your target customer rather than specific user profiles – use Google Analytics for this.
Statistics and research can help you build a more detailed picture of your target customer. Research demographic-related reports and spot trends. It is likely other businesses are targeting the same demographic so simply look at the statistics and research what others have done to find out more about your target audience.
A market research agency can provide the most detailed picture but can be expensive. This route is useful when you need more in-depth research for advanced marketing.
Meeting your customers face-to-face will give you a very general idea about who the bulk of your customers are and what demographic and age group they belong to.