04 May Customer research and why you need to do your homework
We’re talking directly to the customer in so many more ways now through social media, mobile marketing and other mediums that just came up a few years ago. And yet the tendency to “poo poo” market research, especially for medium and small companies, seems even greater than it ever was. The voice of the customer is incredibly important to understand and it seems like we’re even less informed than we used to be!
Market research and market research software have come a long way since the cumbersome days of focus groups and direct mail surveys. Tools like Survey Monkey can help small businesses become more aware of how the customer is reacting to various promotions, events and other marketing tactics. But those simple tools are not enough. Companies like Confirmit.com are making it easier to create customer programs that really help take customer feedback and turn it into something useful. (The same companies are also working on employee programs as well.)
Some companies shy away from gathering feedback or customer research because they simply don’t want to know when something isn’t quite right. Or they have a defensive attitude that “explains” away bad feedback. Social media has made these types of environments hard to maintain. A regular survey or customer outreach program can help in several ways including:
- People get used to feedback and begin to regard it as a valuable tool
- Customers begin to see that you are actually listening and changing according to THEIR needs and desires
- Customer churn becomes lower and loyalty is increased
- And of course, revenue is increased because your cost of sale is lower and your service is better.