Listening to the Voice of the Customer: Customer Insights

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Customer Insights

How many times have you and I assumed we knew something?

How many times have our assumptions been short on data and long on first impression?

In life and marketing most people, (customers included) tend to be much more than they appear. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover and you can’t build a kick butt marketing campaign from impression alone.

Customer insights. Hearing the voice of the customer. Knowing thyself is essential in life and if you’re a marketer it’s not enough to know your self you must also excel at knowing thy client.

But how can you know your client, I mean REALLY, know your client? How can you fully understand their wants and needs, pain points, perspective, world view, attitudes and affinities? How can you really step out of your own subjective shoes and snuggle your toes into the clients shoes? Hmmmm…..

Forget social media over-engage under hear. Embrace social listening, social hearing. Get a ‘social’ hearing aid; that’s the first step to knowing thy client in todays connected online world.

So go ahead, swallow that bottle of shut-up, social media juice and be quiet. It’s time you practice true engagement and it begins with listening, hearing your client.

In marketing when we attune our whole being to listening and let go of our attachment to what we think we know, our intuition, socialization and stereo types it’s amazing what happens.

Basic demographics such as; our clients are women of childbearing age who reside in the Pacific Northwest, are not adequate. We must press into truly knowing our clients at a much deeper level than mere demographics. We need to move past statistics and labels to knowing, understanding and that means active hearing and engagement of the ‘relationship’ kind.

The first step in the integrated marketing communications strategy is to define the client and the best way for you to do this quickly is to find out where your client/prospects are online and use social media tools to listen, hear and then and only then …engage.

But how do we listen to our clients, prospects, members, team mates, peers, friends, fans, ect?

First we clarify who the client, prospect, member, fan is.

Now what are the keywords your clients are interested in, are engaged with, searching online? Where are your clients online? What are they doing online? What are they interested in besides your solutions; products and services?

Some of the tools we use are:

Google Keyword Tool Box

Twitter Search

Google Wonder Wheel /Related Searches ( How Google see’s keyword relationships)

Wordtracker ( questions being asked)

Backtype ( real time social search on any keyword or phrase)

Google Insights Trends ( how do words compare in search trending, geographically?)

Serendipitously as we follow the keywords our prospects and clients are searching we identify people in real time and archived time who are engaging online. Bit by bit we discover, uncover online conversations, communities where our clients, prospects, tribe are hanging out. Places that are relevant to our clients.

Relevant matters. As does real time. Now that we’ve found our peeps we can identify influencers, innovators and begin to learn about the eco-system, greater tribes and communities our solutions; products and services are a part of. Some of the places your clients are engaging online:


You Tube?

My Space?

Linked IN?

Keyword Forums/Blogs?

Social Network; Ning Sites?

Review Sites; Yelp/Industry review sites?

Design Your Online Listening and Hearing Practice/Systems

Once you find your prospect, clients online it’s time to put on those hearing aides and listen up. I mean HEAR. Really attune to the conversation. You are learning about what matters, what’s relevant and in real time gaining invaluable consumer insights.

Word alerts, lists and dashboards will allow you to monitor the online conversations and to track the keywords critical to your success.

Google alerts

Twitter lists

Linked In forums/groups

Facebook Fan Pages

Online Communities

Customer insights.

Now, swallow the rest of that shut-up social media juice and put your social hearing aides in those ears and listen up, hear, really hear what your peeps are interested in, talking about and want and need…

Know thy client. Listen. Hear- before you engage.

Pam Hoelzle

Listening to the voice of the consumer

pam @ pam

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