How to Identify Exactly What Customers Want

“How can a business survive if it doesn’t fully understand its customers and their preferences?”

The answer is that a business can survive without a thorough understanding of what its customers want – but usually not for very long, and not without missing valuable opportunities.

One of AIM’s previous clients, a commercial catalog distribution company, tackled incomplete understanding of their customers’ preferences before it resulted in financial losses.

The client wanted to develop new sales and marketing initiatives that would put them ahead of their competition. Before they could develop successful strategies, however, they needed as much information as possible about their customers’ preferences and purchasing behavior.

AIM’s Strategy for Reaching “The Customer”

For this particular client, it was important for AIM to begin by defining an “active” customer, or the customer who was engaged and familiar with the market.

AIM decided that a survey paired with select interviews would be the best method for uncovering data on how customers viewed the company, its products and services. Data collected from the survey would also reveal forecasts and trends in the client’s market.

AIM created a four-page survey and field-tested it before mailing it to the client’s market. To ensure that the results were as accurate as possible, AIM obtained qualitative feedback by interviewing a sample selection of both customers and non-customers.

The Results

AIM’s survey had a high response rate of over 10%, and with over 150 completed surveys, AIM had enough data to do a comprehensive analysis of the client’s customer base. In addition to revealing forecasts about market volume and online buying, AIM was able to develop detailed profiles on both the client’s “active” and “inactive” customers. Data gleaned from customer feedback revealed that customers regarded the client and its products highly. Customers also highlighted areas for improvement, including the turn-around and delivery of completed orders.

After the research concluded, the client had a clearer picture of how their products were received by the market, as well as purchasing trends that would have a major impact on sales in the future.

AIM’s research gave the client the information they needed to develop new marketing strategies, while providing insight on areas customers felt needed improvement.

With a more complete understanding of their customers, the client was able to move forward with confidence.

Do you feel that your business could benefit from in-depth customer research? AIM can help! Reach out today to discuss how we can assist you.