The Gold Standard: Understanding Your Customer
Using customer service and customer experience to gain competitive advantage requires you to UNDERSTAND your customers at a fairly deep level.
It’s not enough to have information about them. You must have at least some minimal emotional connection or understanding.
Make Each Employee A Mini-Researcher
Employees who interact with customers should be your prime data gatherers and interpreters, and really do know your customers best. Use them by asking their input, focusing them on including information gathering as part of their jobs, and assigning them specific information collection tasks.
Let THEM tell YOU how your customer react, and what they want.
Pay Attention To Social Media, But Not Too Much
Monitoring what people say about you on social media is not a bad idea, per se, but keep in mind that people don’t interact on line the same way the do in person. The data is skewed in many ways.
For example, people tend to be more extreme in their opinions, and how they express them. And, usually, customer comments about you lack CONTEXT. In other words you don’t know the story behind things.
Understand The Problem With Surveys
The problem with surveys in understanding customers are many. First, most surveys using scales and ratings also do not provide a context or explanation for the respondents opinions.
Second surveys give data. Not understanding. Data is a good thing, but it’s often difficult to turn that data into understanding, and then into actionable decisions.
Executives, Managers, Supervisors Should Interact Face To Face With Customers
It’s absolutely critical that those making decisions in the company regularly interact with customers. Talk with them face to face. Serve them. Hear their opinions, and “read” their emotional reactions, if any.
You cannot understand customers without interacting. Without interactions, the “profile” you develop in your head is just a paper cut out, two dimensional. When you interact with customers, then you can construct a 3 dimensional model of your customer.
Even More Methods To Understand The Customer
If you are interested in reading more about the following approaches click here to read the original article.
Here are nine more things to consider:
- Don’t make assumptions
- Ask customers
- Conduct surveys
- Hold an event
- Look past the purchase
- Conduct keyword research
- Get customer reviews
- Use all available data