Connecting with your customers and prospects in a meaningful way is critical to business success. Sounds like common sense right?
Ever hear this from your sales or marketing team?
“I read our FB community page and ‘we’re good! We know what’s going on’”
“We have a 60% repurchase rate - we’ve got good indications that things are going really well”
or the dreaded
“Overall, sales are up - whoo-hoo!”
These are real conversations I’ve had with clients and, yes, these KPIs are important. But if you have no idea what is driving these stats, then how can you effectively create a marketing strategy?
Your customers have the answer. If you really really listened to your customers, they will show you the way, because most customers want to tell you how your product has helped or will help them.
See how “love” was important to a healthcare tech company.
When I first started at healthcare tech company MD On-Line (now part of Ability/Inovalon) the only customer feedback we had was great sales and renewal information. This data was very positive. However, the marketplace was increasingly competitive and becoming commoditized.
While we always looked to improve the requisite SaaS product features, I needed to understand from a marketing perspective what our “special sauce” was for positioning us not just on price. I ventured down the familiar path of primary survey research. One of the key findings was that our respondents used the word “love” more than I’d ever seen. It was writtenin about 80% of the open ended responses we received. LOVE! Primarily reported in the areas of how much time we saved them - “making their work more productive” and our highly knowledgeable and responsive Customer Support (CS) Team - “keeping the wheels moving”.
These insights were literally gold! As a result, we made sure to maintain and celebrate the “love”in our story. We made it a priority to keep the CS team happy, staffed and educated in all aspects of the product, marketing, and sales to protect the superior service they were giving existing customers maintaining our high renewal rates.
Secondly, we used these insights to create marketing and sales materials that had a peer to peer aspect that “validated” our software and gave a human touch to a utilitarian service giving us a year of double digit sales growth.
Merely asking the right questions helped to pinpoint some of the reasons behind “renewals are great so we’re doing something right!”
Reactive vs proactive
Incorporating the voice of the customer can be the difference between short term growth spurts and long term relationships that flourish. Customer feedback and input can also create a culture of more proactive and less reactive as you can invest and protect what’s working well for new customers. And also improve service or fix bumps where needed for repeat business and/or renewals.
Ready to listen? Here’s how…
Three simple ways to get deeper and more actionable data and information from your customers -
1. Administer a survey - Put together a survey via SurveyMonkey or GoogleForms. These tools make it so easy and can be with the investment of time vs funding a massive research team you may not have yet.
2. Ask for testimonials and reviews consistently - In this information age, peer to peer insights help drive decisions. Customers are your influencers and ambassadors. And because everyone wants to be heard, this is a perfect place to watch the magic happen and build a deeper relationship.
3. Interview “super users” - Who uses your product or service the most? What will keep them with you and where are their needs headed - this will give you an important indication of the marketplace. Phones calls to your top 10-20 customers for a quick feedback/appreciation session will go very far!
Getting actionable feedback
One last piece of advice - when asking questions ask in the form of a “what” or “how” question vs why? There are many articles and reports written by Psychologists and Scholars that support key words in questions can make all the difference.
Ready to drive sales and engagement?
What is one question you always ask your customers or prospects that drives insights or offers quality feedback? Please share below or drop me a note email@example.com