5 Ways to Capture Customer Insights

When I first visit with a new client the first thing I ask is, “Do you talk with your customers?” I am often surprised to hear that many don’t. This is one of the first check points or pulses in marketing, as this insight is pivotal to how you can strategically manage your business. This feedback shapes everything and so here are 5 ways to capture customer insights.

1. Ring your customers for a chat. Everyone likes to be made feel valued and so to ringing your customers and asking them how everything is going and if there is anything they need or you can do to improve your service is a no brainer. Most small businesses don’t do it. Make a time in your diary for every month to call at least 5 customers and ask them these questions. You will find the answers shape your business and open up opportunities.

2. Have a database. This is a crucial investment. One central place to collect information about your customers. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your services to their individual needs. There are lots of great CRM products out there to hold your customer information but a simple excel sheet with their details, name, phone number, email address and what they have bought from you is a good start. You can then begin to segment your customers based on different criteria, how much they buy from you, $ value, products or services they buy. This information can then be useful when you start talking with your customers using other social medias including, blogs, newsletters, or lead generation campaigns.

3. Ask your staff for customer insight. I was talking about this the other day with a client and we decided to put a big whiteboard in the middle of the open office space with Happy Customers, Upset Customers and then people could come and write down what they were hearing and seeing. This gave the CEO much greater visibility to customers and gave the staff some ownership over the customer satisfaction of their clients. So set up some forum where staff can discuss customer issues, good and bad.

4. Do some research. Research these days can be very quick to do and economical. There are a lot of free survey tools that allow you to create surveys quickly ie surveymonkey.com. When you need to test and idea, get some feedback then perhaps try a survey to your existing cliental. Very quickly you can get a feeling whether you are on the right track and as long as the survey is not too long, they can feel good that they were consulted.

5. Invite customers to your planning and brainstorming sessions. It is sometimes worthwhile to have a customer or a customer advocate like a marketing consultant involved in your planning sessions for the business to ensure that the customer remains central to the focus of your business. This holds the business accountable and by having an actual voice at these forums ensures that the customer is really represented. Other option is to hold a focus group just with your customers around an important decision that you are going to make with the business, to test the concept or pilot it before you commit to it.

So there you go, 5 simple but effective ways to talk with your customers. Get started today, and let me know what you uncover…


Heike Ziegler

HEIKE ZIEGLER – YOUR #1 MARKET MULTIPLIER & BRAND MAGNIFIER Heike Ziegler is Founder and CEO of HZH International Brandconsulting UG and CELEBRITY BRAND MOVEMENT a company of HZH INTERNATIONAL BRANDCONSULTING UG specializing in brand, market and business development of brands, retailers and technology service partners in the fashion & lifestyle industry. Heike´s goal is to help you achieve brand-performance and enter new markets faster and easier than you ever imagined. As a veteran fashion designer with an international background, Heike masters complex topics such as the organization of an Omni-channel platform from the ground up and the implementation of new technologies as a service. Future-oriented trading strategies are made possible through advanced automated marketing and the analysis of the difficulties of users (brands & retailers) with a focus on the development and expansion of their intensive B2B relationships. Heike Ziegler provides solutions to strengthen the business performance of hundreds of fashion brands and retailers across Europe, from support through dedicated service networks and data conversion from marketing to providing a complete retail platform for brands and retailers to bring about long-term results. HZH-IBC serves as a platform for e-commerce, web application services/professionals, and for the creation of automated online marketing for the development of Omni-channel e-commerce solutions and trade applications for brands and retailers in the fashion & lifestyle sector. To transform the HZH-IBC platform into a marketplace where fashion and lifestyle brands meet with the trade for the successful sale of products and the joint business development, existing co-operations are being expanded and new partnerships are being developed. If you have any questions about Heike Ziegler success strategies and services, please email hzh@internationalbrandconsulting.com or call +49-172-913-999-5 or skype heike.ziegler60.