Market research is part of building a successful business. In order to meet their customers’ needs, companies first need to spend some time getting a really clear picture of how their customers are.
A company could decide to develop a wonderful product, but if they aren’t able to sell it to anyone, then the business won’t stay afloat for very long.
Part of knowing your customer is figuring out what they want to buy and what motivates them to make that purchase. The business owners and management also want to come up with strategies to turn one-time customers into repeat customers. It’s these kinds of long-term relationships with customers that are worth cultivating and companies will designate a portion of their budget to find out what factors need to be in place to develop customer loyalty.
Other issues that fall under the general category of market research include:
Once the company has a very clear idea about who their customers are, they need to figure out strategies for meeting their needs.
A company being run by very clever people will keep its finger on the pulse of what is going on and attempt to anticipate its’ customers needs (even before they do). This way, by the time the customers (the market) realizes they need a particular product, it will already be available to them.
Part of analyzing the market involves taking steps to ensure that the products being offered for sale continue to respond to the customers’ needs. In a situation where a customer has a choice of buying the same or similar products from different retailers, the company’s customer service policies may make the difference in which company gets the sale.
How do companies know whether they are doing a good job in meeting their customers’ needs? One sign is when they take a look at their sales figures. The problem with relying on sales numbers to give business owners the answers is that this information is available after the fact. A clue that there is a problem with customer service only becomes apparent when sales figures start to drop.