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6 tools to find out what your customers really want

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Image by Stefan Erschwendner

You have two options for finding out what your customers really want. Number one is to guess. By its very nature, guessing isn't the most analytical or sensible method to approach your customer insight objectives with. We’re not at school now… this isn't a ‘guess how many sweets in the jar’ competition.

So, now the option of guessing is well and truly out of the equation, what to do next? How do you gain valuable insight into your customers’ behaviour and sentiment towards your brand? Your second option is to check out the tools and tips below.

1. Monitor social conversation

Check out Hootsuite, a social media tool that allows you to filter all relevant social conversation and use it to your benefit, building a real-time picture of current conversation around anything of your choosing. Want to find out what your target audience is saying about your brand all in one handy dashboard? Simply create a ‘stream’ within Hootsuite – using your brand’s name as the keyword – and suddenly you’ll have a regular stream of social content that you can analyse and interact with. This can give you the opportunity to nurture conversation and even generate sales leads.

2. Check out the sentiment towards your company or product on Twitter

This is a little known sentiment discovery trick in Twitter. As an example, if you type in ‘Coca Cola :)’ (yes the smiley face is the trick here) and hit enter, you will find all tweets with positive sentiment towards the brand. Conversely, using a ‘:(‘ after the company name will generate a filter of tweets with negative content, allowing you to filter out which content is screaming out for you to engage with.

This is great to find out what your customers want from you and your competitors, or in a broader sense from the product or service that is central to your industry.

In the Coca Cola example below, recent negative sentiment focuses on their ‘Share with *name*’ marketing campaign, where customers find bottles with their name on them, often sharing the exciting discovery on their personal social channels:



Coca Cola could take these tweets and use them to provide an incredibly personal response to the Twitter user here, creating a one off unique bottle for her. Now imagine the positive marketing and brand loyalty that would come out of that!

3. A/B test and monitor your email marketing campaigns

Your email database is one of your company’s most precious commodities, so don’t irritate your recipients with relentlessly irrelevant, impersonal or poorly timed messaging.

Most good email software, such as MailChimp, has inbuilt analytical tools, allowing you see specifically what people click on in your emails, or even send out two slightly differing campaigns – for example with different headlines – and see which gets the most engagement and clicks.

Take the time to analyse which elements of your emails people are clicking on and segment your audience by the content they find valuable. Send, analyse, tweak and repeat. If something works with one person, it may not with another. Get to know your audience and reap the rewards.

4. Google Consumer Surveys

Want to know if your prospective customers will like your new logo, or how visitors to your website rate the experience? Google consumer surveys allow you to ask questions of visitors to your site, or send out questions to target demographics of your choice.

Often businesses can become introspective in their decision making around key parts of the brand, not actually checking what the customer wants (as ridiculous as that sounds). Separate yourself from the masses that fall into this trap and gain the valuable insight you need to make the right decisions for your customers, every time.

To find out more about Google consumer surveys, click here.

5. Feefo Insights

Feefo Insights support reporting against business functions (including channels, suppliers, carriers and marketing sources) as well as against product categories. This allows you to drill into specific product lines and gain valuable intelligence from your customers' perspective on what is really going on.

The feedback generated allows you to identify potential product and logistical issues that can sometimes only be flushed out through real-time learnings. Feefo allows you to gather the data and customer learnings that allow you to see those problems so you can solve them sooner.

6. Google Analytics ‘Visitor Flow’ tool

Want to see the entry point of visitors to your website and the point at which they drop off and leave? This insight will enable you to tweak your content and page structure to keep them on your website longer, with the ultimate aim to take them through to the purchase phase. To find out more, click here.

What other tips do you have for finding out what the customer really wants? Tweet your suggestions to @Flexioffices on Twitter – we’d love to hear from you.

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