Did you observe “Get to Know Your Customers Day?” It was last Thursday, July 21. It’s a day designed to encourage businesses to reach out to their customers and get to know them better.

Sounds like a good idea to me, and if you did miss it, there’s no need to fret. The next one is coming right up on October 20 and then again January 19. (If you’re sensing a pattern, that’s because there is one. Every third Thursday of the quarter is “Get to Know Your Customers Day!”)

Granted, any serious Monkeyz marketer already knows that every day should be “Get to Know Your Customers Day.” But let’s face it, sometimes it helps to have an event or an observance to rally your team around to direct their attention accordingly. “Get to Know Your Customers Day” is just such an occasion.

Time to Start Monkeying Around

If you’ve never made much of an effort to get to know your customers—and you’re still in business—start now! Knowing your customers is critical for business success. Why? Because business is about building relationships with the people who buy your products and services (your customers), as well as those who have an interest in your brand and what you do (your prospects and fans).

If you don’t know your customers (who they are, why they need your product, how they learn about your brand, why they choose you and not a competitor), how can you hope to connect with them on a meaningful, sustained basis?

It’s simple really. When you make an effort to know them, they’ll make an effort to know you. Familiarity breeds loyalty . . . and customer engagement.

Try These for Starters

Here are a few proven tips you can use on “Get to Know Your Customers Day” or the whole year through:

  • Use your social media pages to elicit feedback from customers. Ask them to upload photos/share posts of them, their families, and/or their friends using your product. Consider giveaways and other promotions designed to boost their online participation.
  • Invite customers to become guest bloggers/posters on your website, where they can share details of their experiences with your brand.
  • Use your blog to spotlight customers of the week or month. Encourage customers to contribute their own stories about who they are, what they buy from you, and why. You might even give something away for their stories, or reach out to them to write your own stories/conduct interviews.
  • Follow-up major purchases with phone calls/emails to see if the customer needs help with the product or service, or if he or she has questions.
  • Show customers you appreciate their business and want them to come back for more and tell their friends. Offer discount coupons for a percentage off services and products, and for making referrals.
  • If you have a bricks and mortar presence, mingle with your customers, making personal contact. Introduce yourself as the owner or manager and ask if there’s anything you can do to make their experience better.
  • Everyone likes to be asked his or her opinion. It shows you care and value what your customers have to say. So even if you don’t have a physical presence, you can use online survey tools (such as www.surveymonkey.com) to get to know your customers better, what makes them tick, and why they buy your product.

How NOT to Engage Your Customers

Making the Effort is Worth It

If nothing else, making the effort to know your customers and engage them demonstrates that you value their business and that you understand they have choices when it comes to spending their hard earned bananas. Making the effort lays the groundwork for a relationship that goes beyond simple buy/sell transactions. Engaging customers in meaningful ways builds trust and loyalty, which leads to repeat business and increased word-of-mouth—the lifeblood of any successful business.

Most recently, we’ve really enjoyed getting to know these Barrel O’Monkeyz clients: DAHON, Mobile Edge, and Amgen Tour of California. What about you? Have you made any special efforts to get to know your customers or observe “Get to Know Your Customers Day”? Why or why not?

Share your experiences here.

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for action sports marketing, sportswear marketing, sports product marketing, active lifestyle consumer products, health product marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.