Posted By Joe Pulizzi on April 29, 2009
Remember the days of large focus groups and paying telemarketing companies to talk to your customers. Maybe you are still living in those days.
I'm not saying that those tactics aren't valuable, but I'm surprised that more organizations aren't heavily leveraging social media to gain customer insight and feedback.
There are a couple ways to do this. First, you can listen to your customers using free tools like Google Alerts or Twitter (and countless others if you don't want to pay for a service). With these tools, you can monitor how customers or prospects are talking about you, your brands, as well as keywords important to your business. This type of activity can and will lead to conversations and relationships with your customers (yes, scary thought, right?).
Second, and what I'm suggesting in this post, is the creation of an idea-generation/feedback site for your customers (let's call it BrandXIdeas.com). Dell's Ideastorm and Starbucks' MyStarbucksIdea are two excellent examples of what can be done. Starbucks has been receiving some excellent input from customers for more than a year now, and are taking the feedback seriously. Where is your BrandXIdeas.com?
Most of all, a BrandXIdeas.com shows you are at least trying to listen to your customers. That in and of itself is important.
Somewhere out there, a customer is trying to give you feedback. All they need is a little help.
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