In a prior blog post titled How to Understand Your Customers Better using Focus Groups, I reviewed the reasons for an organization to want to run a focus group and what the elements were of customer satisfaction research using this technique. This article reviews the preparation steps to run a successful focus group.

Many organizations use satisfaction surveys to keep a pulse on their customers. The objective is to be able to create a numerical measurement with some statistical validation. Surveys have their place but there is another form of customer satisfaction data that is purely qualitative, that is, opened ended, dynamic and flexible. It provides for a greater depth of understanding of your customers, and provides the language the customers use when discussing your products or services. One technique to gather this data is called a focus group.

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.

Gary Vaynerchuk has written an excellent book ‘The Thank You Economy’ on how social media is affecting business operations. Some of his points are relevant to customer satisfaction and the psychology of gaining and keeping customers. Seven tips are covered including one on how social media can be used as a no charge, always available focus group.

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