Five fast, successful ways to learn about your customers

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Here are five things you can do to quickly learn more about your customers, most without doing anything new and all without spending a thing:

1. Ask them
You can do focus groups and Web surveys. Or you can pick up the phone and talk to your customers. Come up with some questions you want answered and dial through a handful of customers to get answers.

2. Listen to them
Where are they already chatting – with each other, to their own customers, etc? What are they saying in their own public forums? What are they saying amongst peers? The social Web has opened up many of these communication channels that previously either didn’t exist or were hidden from us. Use them to more actively listen.

3. Watch them
Where can you observe customers in their natural environment? Learn how they act and react? This may require going to them, and getting permission to quietly observe. But I bet you learn quite a bit from doing this.

4. Ask your customer-facing teams
Your customer service reps, your account managers, even your sales reps – they’re talking to current and prospective customers every day. Get them together in a room and ask them what they’re hearing, and/or use their regular meetings to capture customer feedback more regularly.

5. Read what they read
Don’t just read what they’re writing or saying directly, but what they’re themselves reading. If online, look at the articles in their trade publications that get the most reads and comments. Follow their online communities and discussion forums. Immerse yourself in what and where they learn, and you’ll learn a ton yourself.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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