Six (6) Strategies to help you Research, Interpret & Process information about your Customers.
from MicroSoft.com/Business 3/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
3. Do they want a lot of Options or only a few? The consuming public has a decidedly split personality. Some want gobs of options, while others are more comfortable with a limited range of tried & true choices. Above & beyond the product or service itself, it’s important to know just how wide a menu to present to customers. Too much or too little can ultimately be alienating. If you give too many options to someone they may get overwhelmed and not be able to decide; with others, too few options may leave them feeling constrained and the relationship strained = a pain [LoL].
4. Strive for a Holistic Understanding of your Customers & their needs. The prior suggestions may be elements of customer information that might be news to many business owners. But, enlightening or not, the salient point about Customer Service is simple — the more you know, the better positioned you are to move beyond mere selling and establish a relationship that’s far more deeply embedded. The more you have a holistic understanding of your customers’ lives & goals, the more their goals are your goals and the more you are going to get into the possibility that you can really improve their lives.
5. Make “gathering Customer Info” an ongoing effort. Many business owners believe that customer information is limited to the usual lineup of sources — surveys, focus groups, feedback questionnaires & the like. Those are indeed part of the overall effort. But try to make customer information an ongoing focal point of attention. Listen to what they say, watch what they do and encourage everyone around you to do the same. From there, take what you’ve seen & heard, combine it with information from other venues and try to draw as complete a picture as possible of what they genuinely value & why. Don’t take anything at face value, assume what you have heard and observed is merely the tip of the iceberg. Then you need to “drill down” to a rigorous interpretation of what is going on below the water line.”
6. Be Thorough — but above all else, be Ethical. Any discussion of customer information inevitably circles back to a question of degree — how much information is too much and an intrusion of privacy? The best way to deal with that before it festers, is to make things clear from the beginning. Lay out an information Code of Ethics that specifies what you want to know, how you’ll gather it & what you intend to do with it. Moreover, make it clear to your Customers that they will be steering their own privacy ships. Remind them that anything they tell you is based entirely on their willingness to do so. It’s also a question of your intention. Do you want to make their lives better or find a trigger point you can exploit? Positive intentions always win in business in the long run.
Comments: Any other Ideas of how to get to know your Customers?