Using Customer Feedback as a Source of Marketing Research Intelligence
Marketing research helps businesses and organizations make critical decisions. However, it would be a mistake to assume that only expensive, elaborate research can provide the essential information that organizational leaders need in order to make those strategic decisions.
Customer feedback data offers company leaders a wealth of pertinent information that can enhance the decision-making process. If your organization isn’t tapping into this fount of information, it’s missing out on a valuable source of data—informative data that comes inexpensively and often for free. Examining customer feedback is, therefore, extremely important to your company, and the following explains why.
Enhance Customer Service Through Market Research
If you want to know if your customer service measures are meeting your customers’ needs, just ask them.
Without spending a fortune, you can design surveys to help you gauge customer satisfaction. By analyzing data, your business can learn valuable information regarding its performance and its connection to customers.
Moreover, surveying customers is another way to tell them that their feedback is important to your business.
Improve Your Products, Improve Your Service
One of the most reliable and inexpensive ways to improve your company’s products or services is to listen to what your customers and clients have to say about them.
Although customer feedback is generally used throughout the product development stage, it can also be used when rethinking a product and improving upon its design.
Similarly, customer feedback allows organizations to create improved services, services that are likely to help your business maintain its customer base and possibly even improve upon it.
Customer Data Is Tangible
Relying on customer feedback data means you don’t have to invest in the hunches of your executives. This data provides you with concrete feedback of what your customers want and need from your business.
This type of tangible data can support where it is you will next invest in your business and influence any directions it may take. Making strategic decisions without tangible support could result in a colossal waste of money and resources.
Explore Customer Motivations Through Surveys
Another way that customer feedback data benefits business is by allowing management to more fully understand the motivations that drive customers to purchase products and services as well as what may drive some customers away from business offerings.
Certainly, businesses have multiple types of marketing research to explore, but it’s the customer feedback data that really provides that window into the motivations behind customer behaviors.
Staying in tune with these motivations allows businesses to not only create better products and services for their customers, but also how to market more effectively to them—and to their different demographics.
Keep Executives on the Right Track
Executives who are motivated to provide top-notch service to your customers are a valuable commodity. However, your business has to provide its management with the right tools that foster that connection with your customers.
Feedback is one of those powerful tools that you can use to encourage your executives to harness when planning or making decisions about your business.
Customer feedback provides your business with a direct line to customers. Each time your business reaches out to customers with a survey or invites customer feedback, it actually nurtures that communication process and, in doing so, enhances the overall customer experience and relationship.
To better retain customers, a well-designed communication platform is needed to provide his constant stream of feedback that your company can tap again and again for useful information.
In most cases, customers are happy to tell you what you like and don’t like about your business. It only behooves your business to listen and make actionable decisions based on the communication it receives from its valued customers.
Identify Areas for Growth
Customer feedback data can certainly tell a company about what it may be doing wrong or right, but it can even demonstrate some areas for growth. The key is to create questions to pose to your customer base that highlight future prospects.
Before investing in new products or services, it makes good fiscal sense to run them by your core customer base before investing time and money in their creation. Again, this type of questioning is cheap to provide, but it can result in valuable information that your company can use when planning its venture.
Spot and React to Trends in Real Time
Customer feedback data can help your company spotlight trends within your industry and within consumer practices and preferences. When analyzing your customer feedback data, it may be useful to group feedback in a manner that allows these trends to become apparent to your examiners.
Once you begin to notice trends, you can act upon them in one way or another. Failing to recognize trends is a signal that your business isn’t in tune with your customer base, what customers want, or what customers are uniformly telling you about their experience with your company. If you notice a trend within your customer feedback that tells your customer service response time is slow, for instance, you can set goal for improving that response time in order to address a negative trend and make a positive change.
As another example, you can capitalize on positive trends. If your customers love your company’s blog or Facebook posts, you can continue to extend resources to these marketing avenues and even grow them further.
Intelligent Data, Intelligent Decisions
Customer feedback data is simply too valuable and too powerful to ignore. Once your business begins to harness this information and use it to make important decisions, it stands to gain on various levels from customer retention to improved products and services.
Again, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, certainly not as much as other forms of marketing research. A simple tool like a survey can actually lead to a sophisticated results portfolio.
Moreover, once your business establishes a routine for mining customer feedback data, it benefit over and over again in all the areas mentioned above.