Two Suggestions for Knowing More about what your Customers Think

There is no doubt that even though our economy is not healthy, things keep moving and changing rapidly. Successful companies are nimble-they keep up to date with market trends, the economies where they do business and, most importantly, what is in the hearts and minds of their customers and prospects. Formal market research is very important and should be conducted, professionally and regularly. But there are two other tactics to employ to keep getting up to the minute information on customer likes, complaints and desires:

One: Regularly debrief customer contact personnel-anyone who interfaces with them in sales, customer service, accounting, etc.

Two: Assign staff a staff member or members to keep up to date on what is being said about your company on the social networks like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, etc.

Customer contact people take in much more information about what is really going on than they even realize. Not enough companies ask them what they think, actually listen to the answers and then act on the customer ideas and complaints that require action.
Praise is a great thing to receive, from a social network or otherwise. But, besides the good feelings and, perhaps the rewards praise generates, no action can be taken to make the company better. So, if you are willing to develop an appetite for criticism, you can get hard information on product and service improvements that differentiate your business from its competitors. Social networks provide that information-praise and criticism, on-line, right now.