The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once famously commented: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Nonetheless, contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should entirely forgo researching your target customer base.
In 2019, Katie Dill — then Lyft’s vice president of design — told Business Insider that “we can’t just ask for what customers want; they don’t always know how to articulate it.” So, how can your own business find out the answer before customers are consciously aware of it themselves?
Refer to customer engagement analytics
According to one statistic shared by the marketing expert Neil Patel, only 41% of marketing executives use customer engagement data for informing their marketing strategy. This is startling when you consider just how much data many webmasters now have at their disposal.
Much of this data can be mined from tools like Google Analytics, which are capable of gathering such insights as how much time visitors spend on a page after landing on it.
Use analytics tools across various digital channels
This is because, naturally, many of your customers could hugely differ in how exactly they come across your business. Some of them could stumble across one of your brand’s social media pages, while others might initially familiarise themselves with your company after spotting its app in the iOS App Store or Google Play.
Hence, whatever digital platforms you currently use to promote your company, you should look into which of these have informative analytics dashboards to which you would have access.
Hold an exciting online event
One simple reason to do this is that your brand would be providing an experience, not simply a product. As revealed in research mentioned by the Digital Marketing Institute, businesses leading on the customer experience front outperform laggards by nearly 80%.
Also, implementing a customer engagement platform in preparation for this event could ease your efforts to collect reliable, concrete figures regarding how customers interact with it. What you learn at this stage could consequently inform how you develop future product offerings.
Start a conversation with your customers
There are various useful ways to engage with customers — including holding polls and surveys. However, as such techniques can potentially come across as intrusive, you should probably use them sparingly — and spend a lot of time encouraging customers to generate user-generated content (UGC).
This approach can get customers talking about your brand in a more open, spontaneous way than what could often be the case with more traditional means of gathering feedback.
Directly respond to customer reviews
On both positive and negative reviews, you should comment in a productive and timely manner. Furthermore, you should do so publicly, as this would enable you to humanise your brand and show many people besides the original reviewer how committed you are to the customer experience.
So, thank people who have written positively about your company — and apologise to more disgruntled customers while offering to make amends for them, such as by offering a discount code or voucher.