The third area that most business people undervalue in importance is gathering actionable insights from their customers. Aside from general conversations and dealing with irate or upset customers, how much knowledge are you actually gleaning from them. Do you survey them? Do you have a loyalty program? Do you do AB testing before making changes? These are just a few ways to build up data points you can use to gauge customer satisfaction, understand customer pain points and unearth new niches to exploit.
This is one of the things that Wells Fargo does exceptionally well. During my time with the bank, I was involved with a number of surveys and focus groups to give us some soft data to go with mountains of hard data we culled from internal and external sources. Far too often decisions are made without really listening to the customer… think about the misfires Nextflix had a few years ago. It could have easily been avoided with better intelligence on customer sentiment and a better understanding of what they value. Netflix antagonized their extremely loyal customer based and then made matter worse by mishandling customer feedback.
Beyond just conducting the survey, there are many sure fire ways to construct the survey to assure you get actionable data from the exercise. Just asking questions will only get you so far. You need to be able to construct the questions to give you useful answers that you can use to drive decision-making.
With free survey tools like Surveymonekey, and the ability to easily gather data online via social media, there is really no excuse for a company to have blind spots with their customer base. If you need help setting up, delivering and/or analyzing a customer survey, DMAI has extensive experience with this business intelligence tool.