Every company, government agency and not for profit organization needs to consider how it will respond to social media and complaints. Some mentions will be positive and some will be negative. Policies or instructions needs to be documented for the front line staff that will be responding to these postings. While this used to be the responsibility of the public relations departments in the past, social media, blogs, and complaint sites have made this task grow exponentially and with it the need to engage a broader group of employees as responders.

7 Techniques to Understand Your Customers

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A prior blog post called Customer Satisfaction Tip: Understand Your Customer reviewed why it was important to understand your customer and what it really meant to understand. Three company examples were included, IBM, Cisco and Apple. This post covers seven techniques and best practices to understand your customers, theirs needs, wants, wishes, complaints, concerns, and the terminology they use.

One of the biggest problems with satisfaction surveys is that many customers won’t fill them in. Many surveys are boring, asking too many detailed questions and consumers get bothered too often. Internet and mobile technology allow for new methods of engaging customers. Here are some of the old techniques I have seen recently in surveys I have completed, followed by some new techniques you might not have considered. My thanks to Qualtrics for demonstrating these new survey and market research techniques and allowing me to use excerpts from their demo materials in this post.

I recently called my mobile service provider about some new services I required. Within about an hour I received a text telling me I was going to receive a text survey and 4 more texts of one question each. My answers were to be texted back. All the texts (both the ones I received and the ones I sent were considered free texts by my mobile service provider. It is interesting that I had also called the same company as they were my phone service supplier as well. They also called me with an automated survey where I spoke the answers. The four questions were identical. Three were 3 multiple choice questions and one was open ended.

Customer Satisfaction is often measured by Customer Survey data. There are many market research companies that will create and run customer satisfaction surveys for you, based on your unique needs. There are 10 areas to consider when planning a customer satisfaction survey, from who to survey to how to provide feedback to customers about what you found and how you have changed based on customer feedback.

Small Business organizations often ask how they can gather customer insights without spending a fortune with consultants or research firms. This blog post covers 6 techniques and tools a small business can use to determine the satisfaction level of their customers.

Every organization goes through cycles, from year beginning, monthly and quarterly results and year end. As a new year approaches, one of the exercises every department goes through is planning for the year ahead. Customer Satisfaction strategies and processes need to be reviewed as well.The most important things to review are Management Strategies, Customer Expectations, Customer Feedback, Measurements and Targets and Management Reporting.

Customer satisfaction is the balance between what the customer expects and what is delivered. If your organization counts on business partners (dealers, distributors, retail stores, agents, affiliates, influencers, customer service providers, etc) or some other organization that comes between you and your final customer, then you need to consider your business partners in your customer satisfaction strategy and programs. Read why, what, and how to in this article.

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