By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Customers can be so fickle these days. It’s hard to know sometimes exactly what they want.
Well, there’s no need to guess! Gathering feedback from your customers isn’t as difficult as you think it is.
Intrigued? Then keep reading!
There are many ways to do this: listen to customer complaints, interview/survey them, or run a contest for new product ideas. Next, consolidate feedback as a basis for your innovation efforts. Most importantly, act on what you discover!
Here are some other things you can do:
Use Social Media
Use social media to your advantage by following trends and asking questions on Twitter and Facebook groups. You can also ask people what they want to see in future products. Many early adopters are active on social network groups and will happily respond with suggestions.
Frito Lay is an excellent example of a company that has done this effectively in an entertaining way. I'm sure many of you have seen the Do Yourself a Flavor campaign on social media a while back, and it was very successful. By inviting customers to choose new flavors of Lay's Potato Chips, they brought a fresh appeal to a very mature product offering, and at the same time, increased brand loyalty.
Observe Customers Interacting with Your Products
There is a whole field of study dedicated to observing customers interacting with products. Ethnographic Market Research uses insights gained through observation to develop products that customers will love. It's a great way to inspire the development of innovative products and/or services.
Here's a great example: Levi Strauss began to market a new line of jeans based on what they saw customers doing with brand new Levi jeans. They were ripping them! So they started selling pre-ripped jeans with excellent results.
One of my clients did this with a prototype for a new product they had developed. They were all excited to show a contractor a prototype of a new product they had created. They asked the contractor to install the product on a building, and it's a good thing they did! My client discovered they had made a grave mistake in the design that made it non-functional. If they called in the contractor, my client would have put the product into production, and it would have been a very costly mistake.
These are just two specific things you can do to improve your customer feedback process, and there are many more things you can do.
If you're interested in learning more about improving your products, I'd love to have a conversation with you to hear about your challenges and brainstorm some possible solutions. I have over ten years of Voice of the Customer experience, I've got the creds under my belt!
If that sounds good, click the link below to get a time on our calendars!