Reading your Customer’s Mind Consistently

“To succeed in business you need to be original, but you also need to understand what your customers want.” — Richard Branson

Reading your customer’s mind is a stronger way of saying that companies must know and understand their customers to the extent of being able to predict what they want and how they want. Experts believe that proactively ‘recognizing’ customer’s thoughts and preferences is one of the highest forms of customer service, since the company would be making the effort to understand what the customer wants and expects. Every company owner possibly dreams that when customers see the offerings and products they will be ecstatic and believe that the company truly can read their mind.

Reading your customer’s mind may be the utopian way of conducting business; most companies are nowhere close to achieving that level of service. While companies constantly strive to come up with offerings, messages, and content that would resonate with customers, they are far from achieving such ‘perfection’. Trial and error continues to rule, and businesses seem to invest a lot of effort, time, and other resources just to ensure that customers feel engaged and can perceive that the company can actually read their mind. Before spending time reading your customer’s mind, a company must know who its ideal customers are and should be. To know the ‘ideal’ customers, a company would need to follow some guidelines.

As mentioned in an earlier exposition, customer segmentation and profiling is important for your company to know its best and ideal customers would be. In doing so, your company would be able to have a better understanding of the life, problems, preferences, needs, and wants of its customers, which in turn would enable it to create personalized solutions and customized offerings – almost akin to reading your customer’s mind. Customers love companies that can make and keep their lives simple, and treat them as ‘celebrities’ – companies that can proactively provide solutions for them, and sort out issues even before the customer knows that a problem could exist. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but the efforts made by your company in this regard would be suitably rewarded – more business, glowing testimonials, and effective referrals. The other advantage of customer profiling, apart from reading your customer’s mind, is a company’s ability to sift out the ‘bad’ / unprofitable customers, who may be a ‘burden’ on the company’s resources. Removing these customers would enable your company to focus on its ‘good and profitable’ customers, and refine the art of reading your customer’s mind.

Before reaching the top stage of being able to read your customer’s mind, your company would need to gain as much information about its customers, and the best and most effective way to do so would be to ask customers directly. Sending our short yet relevant surveys via email or other online methods is a great way to solicit feedback and data. Your company could offer freebies or other incentives to encourage customers to respond. Ensure that the survey questions are open-ended, as they would allow customers to answer beyond yes or no, and be able to provide detailed responses regarding their needs, expectations, challenges, and their expectations from the company.

It is prudent for your company to use auto-responders. Customers must get an ‘auto-response’, once they ‘subscribe’ to the email listing of your company, asking them to provide some kind of information including their immediate needs and foreseeable challenges. This information could prove invaluable for companies.

One of the best ways to get to reading your customer’s mind, is adding the personal touch through a face to face meeting. It would be good to carry personalized company merchandise as a thank you gift and to show your appreciation of their time. Speaking directly with customers would provide a lot more insights since it would be possible to ‘hear’ the body language and facial expressions, in addition to the words. Customers who afford your company time for a face-to-face meeting are obviously interested to understand your company, provide insights into what they expect from the company, and create a mutually beneficial relationship.

We have discussed before, and repeat it here – being part of networking events or hosting such events would allow your company to create a tight knit and focused group of like-minded people, including customers. Such events encourage the flow of ideas, relevant conversations, sharing of knowledge, building connections through existing customers, and overall adding value to your company through gaining industry and customer intelligence.

The methods we have mentioned above for gaining information would be even more helpful in reading your customer’s mind, if your company actually uses the information. This would mean ‘mirroring’ exact words or phrases used by customers in the content for marketing and promotional materials. Customers would feel a sense of belonging and ‘I said that’, drawing them closer to the company, and making them want to buy. In addition, your company would avoid jargon and words that customers may find meaningless, and instead would feel as though they were part of the ‘creation process’ of the materials. The more such affinity and bonding your company can maintain with its customers, the easier reading your customer’s mind would be. In the world of business, being able to know what customers want before they say it, is worth its weight in gold. Having such capability would allow your company to gain more attention and business, and deliver top class service each time. The ultimate aim of your company would be to be sell, as much as possible, and as often as possible.

Reading your customer’s mind is essential since your company would be better equipped at producing goods and services that would find immediate utility and efficacy in their lives. Sometimes may not even know what they want, but when your company fashions its offerings around its observations of customers, there would be many ‘aha’ moments from customers – they would be able to see that your company truly understands them. This in turn would mean customers forming relationships with the company, and or spreading the word about your company to others. Selling does not have to be a tough and ‘dirty’ word – companies need only to ensure that they put the interests of their customers in the forefront, and customers would want to buy without any extra effort on the part of the company. Companies must remember that when customers buy products or services, they are essentially connecting with the culture and values of the companies – they expect to be able to trust the companies and over time be assured of top class service and products in the natural flow of the relationship.

A very important aspect of reading your customer’s mind is for your company to know about its competitors. The competitor information will enable your company to show customers why they can trust you, how they can benefit from the association with your company, and why your company would be head and shoulders over the other players in the same field. In addition, when your company is able to ‘get inside the head of customers’, it would know what kinds of discounts and services customers would expect, and hence fashion the offerings in a way that they would be better than what anyone could offer. In addition, a wide knowledge base on the part of your company would ensure that customers would respect and trust your company increasingly over time. Potential customers could become valuable customers, and existing customers could become loyal brand ambassadors only when your company invests in the relationship with them. Reading your customer’s mind is a very large part of building profitable and healthy relationships to last a lifetime.

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