5 examples of effective client insights collection
Did you know that over 50% of consumers expect brands to anticipate their needs?
That means when potential customers first come in contact with your business, you have to deliver on those expectations–from your messaging to your actual offering.
And, while many of us claim to be customer-first, that’s often because we think we know what our customers want–until we actually dig into the data.
Gaining ongoing customer feedback is a vital part of building and scaling your business, because it impacts every part of the decision-making process, from the products or services you create to the offers you create around them.
Knowing what your customers do and don’t respond favorably to will allow you to revise the parts of your business model that are, well, less-than-satisfactory and not serving your bottom line.
Let’s tackle a few ways to efficiently gather customer insights, so you can improve your clients’ overall user experience and refine your offering in a way that will better appeal to your target audience in the future.
5 Ways to Gather Clients Insights
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to gaining client insights, and the best method may vary depending on what kind of business you run, where your audience hangs out, and how you usually communicate with them. That said, here are a few tried-and-true methods through which you can gather customer insights:
1. Customer Feedback
We’ve all been there–that hair-tearing-soul-crushing sensation we experience when we don’t quite know how a potential love interest feels about us. They flirt, maybe they text you for a while, but then they leave your date early and ghost for a week–and you’re left reeling with questions.
And maybe, their perplexing behavior drove you so crazy that you gathered up the courage to…ask how they really feel about you?
Like it or not, the minute your customers come in contact with your business, they’ve entered into a relationship with you. And sometimes, the best way to figure out how a relationship is going is to do the hard, vulnerable thing and ask. This can be as simple as a “How are we doing?” section at the bottom of your emails or on a call with your users.
Alternatively, you can use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to understand how likely your audience would be to recommend your brand, or add popups to parts of your website to understand their sentiment toward a particular product or service.
However, it’s important to note that the less anonymous this process is, the more customers may be hesitant to tell you how they actually feel. That’s why, though this is a great place to start, it shouldn’t be your only method of gathering customer insights.
This brings us to:
TrustPilot, is that you calling?
If you’ve been in the biz for awhile, chances are you have your fair share of reviews floating around the internet about you–even if you aren’t aware of them yet.
In fact, 47% of consumers worldwide leave a review at least once a month, and more than half of those customers bank on brands responding to their negative reviews within the week. In other words, the reviews are coming, and you’re expected to do something about it.
The good news? Reviews can bring you a whole bunch of customer insights, albeit emotionally-charged ones; people tend to leave reviews when they’re feeling strongly about the experience they had with your business, both positive and negative.
Start monitoring review sites that are related to your offer (Yelp and Google My Business for local businesses, TrustPilot for services, Revuze for product opinion analysis, Yotpo for eCommerce etc.) and see what data you can collect.
This is the in-depth cousin of “customer feedback,” and it usually refers to written surveys. Questionnaires and surveys are a great way to gather anonymous feedback, which tends to be more truthful. Of course, you have
To create longer surveys, you can use free tools like SurveyKing or Alchemer, or Typeform if you want to customize different logic paths based on your customers’ responses. A few ways to help make sure your surveys give you meaningful feedback are:
- Create open-ended questions where possible, so respondents can answer in their own words
- Avoid questions that “lead” the answer in a specific direction
- Make rating scales consistent between each question
- Offer incentives for completing the survey (we’ll talk about this more below)
- Only ask questions that help you get to your goals
You can send questionnaires via email, or include them in your customers’ post-purchase experience.
4. Behavioral Data (Data Tools)
It’s not just what your customers say that can be valuable, but also what your customers actually do. How are they interacting with your website? What’s their journey after they first come in contact with your business? Where do most of your potential customers drop off?
Every action that your customers take can give you insights that you can use to improve your offering, and there are a number of tools to help you figure out what those actions are. Both Google Analytics and Inspectlet, for example, will help you get insights into bounce rate and time on page (and Inspectlet will even show you short videos of how your users are interacting with your pages in real-time).
If you find that people are spending the most time on a specific page, you can check to see what content or buttons or CTAs are keeping people’s attention; conversely, if you have a high bounce rate on a specific page, you can try to understand what’s making people leave your website.
5. Email and Customer Forms
One of my personal favorites, email is an easy way to reach a lot of customers in a short amount of time–and gather valuable feedback.
To maximize the potential that customers will actually respond to your emails, you can try:
- Personalizing the outreach email. Most email automation platforms allow you to define your sender name however you want. This means that you can write a personal message to your customers asking about a specific aspect of their experience with you (how well a product works, the amount of time it took to receive something, etc.). Include their name in the email, and give them the option of replying directly or filling out a form.
- Letting them know they’ll receive a response. Even just telling them that “Your feedback is important to us, and we’ll follow up on this in X days” will help to build trust with your customers, and letting them know someone actually cares about their opinions.
Just make sure you have a process ready in advance for responding to customers who send feedback; the last thing you want is to promise your customers that you’re here to listen to them and then fail to deliver on that promise.
Examples of Companies That Effectively Gathered Customer Insights
1. Tailor Brands
At Tailor Brands, they wanted to see how customers reacted to their platform in real-time–both so they could monitor how they responded to different aspects of their marketing funnel, and so they could understand whether our platform met their needs overall.
So, they held several sessions in which new or aspiring business owners (the target audience) actually came to their office and sat with in-house experts to create a free logo and brand using the Tailor Brands platform.
Although they gave customers something for free, freebies don’t have to mean the insights you’re gathering are biased. Because you’re watching customers demo your product in real time, you can often gauge the things they’re having trouble with or the parts of the experience they genuinely enjoy. We were able to get real-time feedback about our funnel, and our users’ problems and needs–while also having a nice evening in the process!
2. Coca-Cola Bottle Name Campaign
Ever heard of Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign? For those who are unfamiliar, it launched in 2011 in Australia and involved replacing the traditional wrapping around Coca Cola bottles with packaging that said “Share a Coke With…” followed by a popular name. The campaign exploded, with the company selling over 250 million personalized bottles of Coca-Cola in Australia.
But how did the campaign come to be? According to Lucie Austin, the Director of Marketing for Coke South Pacific at the time: “Our research showed that while teens and young adults loved that Coca-Cola was big and iconic, many felt we were not talking to them at eye level.”
In other words, the brand was able to use customer insights to change their offering in a way that directly connected them with the target audience they were previously unable to reach.
3. Deezer’s Forum
One of the topy 5 music streaming services in the world, Deezer created an entire community from which to gain customer insights. Deezer’s Community serves two roles: Encouraging consumers to talk to each other about music (thereby fostering engagement with the service), and allowing them to voice problems they may be experiencing with the service itself. Additionally, they have a community suggestion box through which users can contribute their own ideas about what Deezer can offer them next.
Not only does the Deezer Community give Deezer real-time feedback about their product, but it also allows them to control the conversation surrounding their brand; rather than having frustrated users take to the internet to voice their concerns, Deezer created a pre-determined space for customers to keep the complaints in-house, and allow the brand to take action.
Paytm, the Indian digital payment system and ecommerce service, has baked customer opinion directly into their product.
Their app includes a “bug bounty,” which encourages users to report bugs directly on the app–and the company will fix them. So, for example, if customers make a fraudulent purchase on the app, they can report it on the bug bounty, and Paytm will use it to catch fake merchants.
Not only does this allow Paytm to collect feedback, but it also supports an improved experience for the user. Win-win all around!
5. Taco Bell
Like Paytm, Taco Bell has made customer feedback an integral part of their customers’ overall brand experience.
In fact, they include survey instructions in every receipt, circumventing the need to follow up with their customers after purchasing. They offer prizes for filling out the surveys in order to increase the participant count, and they make sure that the survey itself is in a noticeable place on the receipt.
Start Getting Your Own Insights
Now that you have some ideas of how to get client insights, it’s time to implement them yourself! Knowing how your customers feel is the first step to improving your business and offering, which will ultimately allow you to grow in all the right ways.
Alon is an Israely product and marketing executive with a track record in leading customer centric product management and inbound marketing strategy. While improving user engemenemt and customer, I help Start Ups achieve product market fit and expand their online footprint. I specialize in technology, entrepreneurship, customer experience.