As consultants many times we have had to learn about the clients of the companies we advice, learning about what they think and feel but many times the question is should we make surveys or focus groups?
Focus groups have a great disadvantage that is they don’t have a statistical validity unlike the surveys, but we have found that it is a great tool in order for the client to express freely what he thinks obtaining many times excellent ideas we hadn’t even though about. The truth is that many times we think we know our clients, but we are far from it and the best way in which we can learn about them is by listening what they have to say.
Even though in this post I started talking about surveys and focus groups, more important than the tool we use, I want you to understand that it is very important to listen to our clients and non-clients. With internet the amount of content that is generated daily and the interest of people of being part of conversations has increased, so it is much more easier to have information of what people want from our company and brands.
In other words, generally we have the input: people talking about what they want and expect from our business, but we fail as companies when we need to listen to them. People talk in blogs, social networks, communities, among others and even though it sound difficult to keep track of their conversations, today it is easier than ever thanks to the tools we have at reach.
I think that what I have just stated is not optional and if we really want to grow and remain in place, this is very important. Today many companies are taking advantage of this and many innovations have come by hearing people, as in the design of the Fiat Mio. Also many of the customer service aspects have been benefits by hearing our clients, as in the case of Dell Hell in which the company Dell improved its customer service when they listen complaints over the Internet about their service.
The examples I just presented are just that: examples, but we have a great potential of making big changes in our companies if we hear our environment. As I exposed we only need the initiative, employees and the correct software. Take advantage of the tools that this century provides us. Our clients are on the Internet and are willing to talk. Are we willing to listen?
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