News Flash - Innovative New Idea! Listen To Your Customers.

10/17/2011

Women talking 2
She asked, "What should we talk about in this new social web of yours."

I responded. "It's not necessarily my social web. It's yours and your customers and their friends and their family and .. and .. and. Ask them what they want from you and how they'd like to interact in the digital world."

"Ah," said She. "What a great idea!"

Recently I've been noticing more posts, tweets and social network updates by marketers who have had ah ha moments that customers hold the golden key to their business profitablity. And .. this is their BIG Revelation .. talking to customers can bring valuable insights. 

Hello out there! Girlfriend, I don't know whether to shudder, scream or just sigh. Just for a giggle I dug out my dad's marketing research text book from the 1950's. The following is from the first chapter:

  • American business lulled into a state of complacency during the early post-war period, tended to forget the time-proven truth that the "Consumer is King." ~ John P. Alevizos Marketing Research published 1959. 

Flash 52 years into the future and we hear author and social media professional Geoff Livingston saying to top host Wayne Hurlbert in a BlogTalk interview, "It's not about you it's about them." 

Good business professionals have known this secret way before 1959. Take a look at my Corner Grocer Store Relationship post. How we do it might change but talking to your customers In 1959 or 2011 or 2072 .. it's just a good business practice. 

Social media provides an amazing way to listen not only to what your customers might tweet to you but what they talk about with family and friends. While traditonal market researchers may argue that these behind the curtain conversations are not scientific or statically valid, they do provide rich insights. Often they can serve to complement quatitative research by providing the passion or emotion that can be missing.

Informally reaching out to your customers, while it may result in some bias, is at the very least a way to not only gain insights but to keep in touch beyond the purchase and holiday card. In his MSN Business On Main Street post How To Pump Your Customers For Regular Feedback Randy Myers offers a few ideas on how to secure this type of customer feedback. Note to Randy: while I might agree with your suggestions I do have a bit of a problem with the word "pump". It seems to me to be one sided and negative. Just saying ...

One of my favorite ideas from the MNS post is from Chuck Reeves. ~ "Give the customer a summary or a detailed copy of your findings and ask for any corrections. Giving feedback demonstrates sincerity, invites further comment, and shows that you value and will act on the information provided."

At the end of the day, or post, we come full circle from wha John P. Alevizos said .. customer is king or queen and getting to know him or her is was and will always be .. the 1st step in the road to business prosperity. 

Read More

For free digital tools to help you listen that go behind Google Alerts (which are great by the way) here is the monster list of 198 links (and counting!) from Sales Rescue Team.

Two Sides of Consumer Generated Media: Listening and Participating

 Graphic: Ann's Girls 

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MSN Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Comments

Thanks for mentioning my BlogTalkRadio interview with Geoff Livingston. It was a pleasure interviewing Geoff on my "Blog Business Success" show about his fantastic book "Welcome to the Fifth Estate".

I am glad you enjoyed the interview. Geoff shared so many tremendous insights with listeners including the important one that you highlighted in your quote.

Posted by: Wayne Hurlbert on Oct 20, 2011 5:08:49 AM

@Wayne - Always a pleasure to listen in on your smart author interviews. needless to say this one was extra special since it included both you and Geoff.

Posted by: Toby @tobydiva on Oct 20, 2011 9:00:52 AM

Social media is actually very effective in increasing a site's visibility. However, it can bite you back if used inappropriately. To use it for a business' advatage, it is essential to make real conversations with them and not to rely alone on software which are updating posts automatically.

Posted by: How to Blog on Oct 28, 2011 12:26:51 PM

Really you must take care of your customers to make them your permanent customers and you should listen him to make your sales better.

Posted by: Mobile Price in Pakistan on Nov 4, 2011 3:45:05 AM

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