In the business world, the customer’s voice is one of the most valuable, but often undervalued, tools in your arsenal. You obviously can’t cater to every customer’s demand, but by listening to their feedback, you can create a business structure that meets both your needs and the needs of your customers. However, few businesses actually give customers the opportunity to speak up. They operate under the assumption that consumers don’t understand how to run a business, so they won’t be able to add input that’s of any real value.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. If consumer engagement and purchases are low, your customers should be your first source when looking for ways to improve your business. The benefits of a strong customer voice include transparency in your business dealings, aid in successful content creation, improved SEO, more customer referrals, better engagement on all platforms, and so much more. If your business hasn’t been listening to its customers thus far, here are a few great places to start.
1. Analyze Customer Data with Business Intelligence Tools
“If you want to consolidate your presence in your customers’ minds and make them stay with you, you must respond to or even forecast their needs,” says Agata Kwapien of datapine, experts in data analysis and KPI tracking. “Business intelligence… helps to gather data about your customers’ behavior and structure it in a clear form so that it can be analyzed fast and easy. With insights about your customers’ behavior you can make effective business decisions.”
Through business intelligence, companies can connect with their customers in a brand new way. It cements deeper relationships through gathering background information about a customer. Once you’re able to understand your customers’ decision-making habits and behaviors, you can use that information to improve your business as a whole.
2. Utilize Surveys
Taking surveys is a great way to gather useful information for improvement directly from the customer. Surveys can be sent through email or social media, or they can even be built right into your landing pages. When creating these surveys, design them with your ultimate objectives in mind.
Chuck Liu, UX Research Lead at KISSmetrics gives the following advice for creating effective business surveys: “Surveys should not be thrown together because you simply want to do a survey. They should be created because you want to answer a specific question that you currently don’t have the answer to.” Keep that in mind to avoid creating a wasteful survey.
3. Create Customer Personas
“Personas help us all – in marketing, sales, product, and services – internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans,” says Pamela Vaughan, contributor to Hubspot. “Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”
It’s hard to give customers a voice if we don’t treat them like real human beings. Customer personas are like a window into the voice of your customers. Good personas should include information about customer demographics, buying habits, search histories, social media engagement, and other data that you can collect about your target audience. With this information, you can make improvements to your business that you know your customers will love.