Every single day of the year has been designated as a National Day of… something. People celebrate the National Day of Donuts on June 5. Handwriting on June 23. Bubble Wrap Appreciation on January 28. But for all of the random designated days out there, one might actually benefit your business: Get to Know Your Customers Day.

Get to Know Your Customers Day reminds businesses to deepen the connection with customers. The day is observed on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October), meaning that today is the day.

You Think You Know…But You Have No Idea

Yes, that’s a quote from MTV (anyone remember the show “Diary”?) Businesses think they know their customers. Many do. But think of your own personal relationships. How many of us have spent quality time with a loved one only to be reminded of a facet of them that you may have overlooked due to the speed of daily life?

As marketers, we talk in broad, dehumanized strokes with our terms — “audience,” “customers,” “fan-base” — but we’re ultimately describing people. Nuanced, interesting, ever-changing people. So, take the time to check in with your customers and reexamine what you think you know. You may just discover ways to make your messages, products or offerings more meaningful to their lives.

Know Them So You Can Be Useful to Them

In a recent audit of a client’s email campaigns, we discovered that of the people who unsubscribed, nearly 60% checked out because they didn’t feel the material was relevant to them. That stat screams opportunity. Now, we can help our client explore the interests and desires of their customer to craft more pertinent content.

We’ve Got Ways of Making Them Talk (But, Like, in a Nice Way)

So, how does a marketer learn what customers care about? Well, your agency partner can help. Consider these methods to deepen your understanding of the people buying your product or service.

  1. Voice of Customer Research

Start at the source. Interview your customers to gain a better understanding of their experiences and expectations. A third party, like an agency, is neutral and unbiased, which puts customers at ease and makes customers more willing to openly share. At Simantel, we follow a specific methodology that helps us reach the best results. You can then use VOC to brainstorm for campaigns, create on-target content and visuals and better speak the language of your customers.

  1. Personas

Segment your audience and put a face to your customer with personas. Personas are research-based representations of an audience segment of similar traits and characteristics (they often include age, gender, location, marital/family status, interests and buying habits). Personas turn an identified audience back into people with their own attitudes, motivations and concerns. This allows you to easily understand who you’re building experiences and messages for. Keep reading about the power of personas.

  1. Social Listening

Your customers are talking about your company, especially on social channels. Harness that wealth of online conversations to understand customer needs and brand perception. Simantel can use clients’ social listening platforms or our own tools. We also have the ability to plug directly into some of the social platforms’ APIs. We have found social listening around an event, like a large trade show, especially beneficial.

  1. Media Tools

Know your customer better by studying what media they like and consume. Are your people print die-hards or would digital reach them better? In our recent webinar, our executive technology director, Travis McGlasson, explored ways to evaluate channels and understand buying habits. He offers tools that you can use to gain insight on your customer behavior – some free, some subscription based. To learn more, check out the webinar recording.

  1. Customer Journey Map

To know a man, walk a mile in his shoes. To know a customer, track his journey to your company. A journey map can help you plot all the steps a customer takes to get to you, and helps you identify key moments of interaction with your company so that you can improve the experience. Knowing the path a customer takes can help you understand their relationship with your brand and help you strengthen that bond at the moments that matter most.

If you missed the opportunity to participate in this quarter’s Get to Know Your Customers Day, don’t fret. You’ll be able to join the next one in October. Fall is a great time to focus on customers. After all, the National Day of Listening is the day after Thanksgiving.

Get Gena’s Take

Want to learn more? Our Lead Digital Strategist Gena just explored a related topic with her article, Ready, Set, Research.