I hate it when gurus say “you need to know your customer well”, only to fall short on real actionable advice on how to do it. They all say the same thing, “Run surveys”, “Run focus groups”.
While they are great techniques, they fall short because customers don’t often know what they really want. A lot of NOISE, a lot of MERE OPINIONS.
Here are 4 techniques to discover more about your customer based on “EVIDENCE”, and not just opinions.
- Look at ACTUAL questions they are posting on the Internet.
Forums, Q&A sites, Reviews on product listings are rich sources of real insights. Heck, even Google’s Autosuggest can also give you a clue or two to what your customer really wants.
There’s A LOT of talk that the next generation of search is “Aggregation” or “Matching”. But let’s face it. Keywords rule. And by analyzing your customer’s keywords – both short and long tail will give you a wealth of insights.
- Look at the history of past purchases
If you own a mailing list, and have been recommending products. You’re sitting on a goldmine of data. The metric: Conversion Rate, tells you a lot what your customers are excited about, and already spending money. Follow the money.
- Last, look at REVIEWS.
Go to Amazon and look at the dang reviews. What do they like, what are they complaining about. And then quantify it. You can use a simple analysis tool such as Word Cloud to spot trends!