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How to Learn About Your Customers in Order to Retain Them
  • 02 June 2019
  • Jelani Markus

How to Learn About Your Customers in Order to Retain Them

Most business owners recognize the importance of customer loyalty. After all, gaining a new customer can cost up to five times more than simply retaining an existing customer. In order to generate foot traffic from returning visitors, many businesses create programs that reward customer loyalty.


Obviously, customer loyalty programs are not one-size-fits-all. If you do not own a coffeehouse, taking inspiration from Starbucks Rewards is perhaps not the wisest move. But well-crafted market research can be the difference between enticing customers to visit again or shooing them away.

Before you develop any marketing program to retain your customers, try these steps to help research and learn more about them.

Ask the right questions

It might seem like an easy way to collect information, but asking customers what they think remains an excellent way to gather consumer thoughts. There are two main ways to do this:

  • Primary research can directly establish buyer personas and segment your market. Think of focus groups, online surveys and more to hear what customers are drawn to.
  • Secondary research takes information from public, commercial and internal sources to help paint a picture of your consumer. Government statistics, for instance, are completely free and provide a bevy of information to help you learn more about your consumer.

Define who they are

If you want to understand how your customers make decisions, you need to develop a well-defined buyer persona. Typically, a buyer or marketing persona is a fictional generalization that represents your ideal customer. It helps you visualize your audience through a few characteristics such as:


  • Age
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Family size
  • Unique challenges

The basic idea behind the persona is to create a guideline to help you better understand your audience and what they will react to. Knowing the difference between “Rick who always comes in for the same thing” and “Lyndsay with the big order” can be very helpful when developing your loyalty program.

Get familiar with your peers

A great way to know your customer is to learn about your competition. What differences lead to a consumer making the choice to walk into their location instead of yours?

  • Price differences can be a key component to pay attention to. If the consumer you are looking for is less concerned about the price of similar products, perhaps quality is more important to them.
  • Offers that target your consumer successfully are opportunities to learn what you can make available in order to best compete. Always keep an eye out for offers to inspire you.
  • Marketing techniques can really enlighten you on what the competition is up to. If you are hoping to investigate competitors’ keywords for searches, an excellent resource is SpyFu.

Bring it all together

Once you have gathered all the necessary data, it is time to put it to use. What builds loyalty in a customer often depends on what kind of person that customer is and what they are already exposed to. Keep that in mind, and take inspiration from a variety of sources as you develop your programs. In no time at all, customers will feel like friends coming to visit.

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