Customer insights are more important than ever – but how can we gather them?

3 min read

Quick ways to gather insights that won’t take months or break the bank

Person on bridge

The world just unexpectedly changed and will likely continue into uncharted territory; if there was ever a time for us to listen even harder to what people want, it’s now. After all, businesses that understand their customers are far more likely to thrive. 

So how do we take steps towards understanding our audiences? The answer lies in research and insight. The combination gives companies better ideas, new perspectives, expertise and allows differentiation in an increasingly busy marketplace. 

Here are six ways to gather insights quickly and efficiently:

  • Talk to staff - Listen to people who speak directly to customers, they might think that what they are hearing is incidental but when added to other information it can be instrumental. Staff pick up valuable nuggets on the floor - make sure they know what to do with that information. 
  • Create a simple panel - Survey Monkey and similar platforms have revolutionised research, making it cheap and easy to invite your database to take part in answering questions. It’s a great way to test your hunches and make sure your intuition is correct. 
  • Go and observe - Make the effort to watch people shopping in your sector. If you’re in the clothing industry, for example, watch how your customers browse. Are they touching clothes? Do they try things on? How long do they spend in-store? These insights can uncover a lot about your customer base. 
  • Be a mystery shopper - Experience the customer journey yourself. And don’t stop at your own business, step into the shoes of your competitor’s customers, too.
  • Phone a friend - Don’t ignore family and friends who fit your audience profile - they are often blocked for fear of being biased, but they see more than you think and might even be more honest than strangers. 
  • Do a segmentation - Spend some time creating a segmentation of your audience and the sorts of people you want to attract. A travel company for example might include young explorers and retired roamers as two key segments. Once you’ve identified them, it’s easier to spot their different needs and priorities.

Armed with these insights, you’ll give yourself, and the organisation, the best chance of success. 

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