Collecting Data About and From Customers
Smart entrepreneurs follow a road-map to definable goals based on data and logical expectations. But where do we get data about what customers want or need? I’ll cover some of the simpler methods of lighting the path to your success.
Direct feedback can come in many forms; a phone number on your site, a contact form, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Yelp!). The key is to make it available and easily accessible. At every turn make contacting you easy and reduce all barriers to direct contact with your customers.
Keep in mind, it never hurts to solicit help or ask questions of your audience about your products or services. Most customers love sharing their opinions when they feel that they have something to gain, so consider occasionally running surveys with prizes or other brand based incentives like coupons, discounts or VIP treatment. Rewarding feedback is critical.
Building loyalty and trust in audiences, clients and customers means listening and responding in a ways that are respectful to both parties. If you're receiving suggesting for a particular feature to your website, say requests to blog more about a certain topic it would do you well to take that advice.
Keeping an ear open to overt suggestions is critical but having an ear open to more innocuous ones and paying attention to shifts and changes in an audience is also important. This is usually a job for software, and pattern analysis.
Using Analytic Software to Inform Feedback
If you’re not using any type of analytic software or developing relationships with experts in those fields, you should seriously consider it. The right data software can help you predict changes and shifts in your audience. It can provide counterpoint to suggestions from customers; providing you with “invisible answers”. You’ll also be able to take note of where your traffic generates, what content that you're site is popular for, and where.
Traffic analysis is a big metric and one that you should be considering as it can influence the way you budget your marketing and what competition you may have. In the coming weeks we’ll be going through a great deal of the best practices involved in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign. Needless to say, it’s very important to know and understand how your customers are arriving through your doors, be they physical doors or digital ones.
It’s very important to remember that the collection of data is key. but shouldn’t cripple or hinder the occasional entreprenueral impulse. Data can give us a plan, but it is our conviction and dedication to our business’ core philosophy that gets us to where we want to be.