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Top 10 Ways To Listen To Your Users

Your users are a wealth of information. Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to mine this data, other times it’s already out there and just requires you to listen on a different frequency. Are you implementing the right tools, tactics, and systems to harvest that valuable insight which is crucial to improving and growing your business? Get ready…

10 Ways To Listen To Your Users

1. Engage The Community

It’s not as hard as you might think to get people talking about your brand. Implementing something as powerful and CHEAP (free) as a Facebook fan page is very important to building a system that allows customers to give you valuable feedback and to champion your brand.

Building out a Facebook business page gives you the ability to reach out to prospective customers, but also important, it gives people a forum in which to ask questions, make suggestions, and talk about your brand. Facebook has 2.2 billion active monthly users and offers you a FREE platform to interact in this space.

Put yourself where the people are and encourage open conversation to get insights into your business only a customer would have.

2. Send A Casual Email

Are you interested in knowing how a customer’s experience was? Or if they’re enjoying their purchase? You don’t have to wait around for a customer to reach out or turn to social media. If you are waiting, you will be waiting a long time. Most people do not boisterously announce their feelings about their latest purchases. I know it might seem like everyone is taking to the twittersphere, but truthfully, only a small subset of people are going to do this without some encouragement, especially if your customer is satisfied.

Send a short follow up email to your customers to find out how their experience was or to make sure they are thoroughly enjoying their purchase. Drafting it as a personal message will make it psychologically easier for them to respond because they’ll feel the one-to-one connection. Secondly, keep it short and direct.

Follow up emails promote good customer service and encourage customer loyalty. They allow you to extract crucial information that would otherwise go unshared and help you identify and solve any issues that the customer may have had before they are frustrated enough to turn to social media with angry tweets and one-star reviews.

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3. Read Your Reviews (And Respond)

We live in a customer centric e-commerce world. People are talking about your brand whether you want to read it or not. We suggest scouring social media and reading all of your reviews. Good reviews, bad reviews, or neutral reviews help you identify glaring holes in your business and how to better serve your users.

There are countless articles and blog topics about “How to know what your customers want” yet your customers are taking to the social media streets and directly telling you what worked and what doesn’t work with your product, service, or business.

It might be hard to stomach the negative reviews, and trust me every business is going to get negative feedback, but it’s important to not get bogged down in the emotion of it and instead spot common themes among your previous customers. What works, what doesn’t, and how can you improve.

Furthermore, interact with the reviewers. Open up a dialog right there and figure out what went wrong, and how you can recover any lost business. This not only tells past and future customers that you’re listening, but you are reputable and have their interests in mind.

4. Listen By Getting Chatty

In order to engage with customers and hear what they have to say, it’s important to develop systems of communication that make it incredibly simple for them to reach out to you. One tool that is integral to engaging your customers is Live Chat!

There is an important distinction between having a live chat tool, and using a live chat tool. Be active, respond to customer inquiries instantly. Treat those messages with the highest priority. These are active customers on your site looking to buy. Furthermore, they are reaching out to you because they can’t find what they’re looking for. So drop what you’re doing and engage.

There’s so much insight you can glean from a direct chat with your customers from the functionality and layout of your website, to hot selling products and services they are looking to buy. But, this treasure trove of information will pass you by if you don’t implement a tool to collect and engage.

Don’t limit yourself to chat on your website. Enable facebook messenger on your Facebook business page and even integrate it with your website. Messenger allows you to easily get in touch with and learn more about the people who’ve engaged with your brand. There are a lot of powerful features you can implement, but those extend beyond the purpose of this article. Utilizing messenger gives you the power of Facebook when engaging with users.

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5. Want To Know What They Think? Take A Survey!

Customer feedback is incredibly useful in designing your site to get a user to take the actions you need them to take. So what can you do to get their input? Ask a question.

Ask active users on your site. Trigger a small one question survey to popup at the right moment to learn how they like your site. Make it short and so simple they can’t help but answer it. Even articles in Google’s knowledge base collect information by asking at the end of each page “How useful was this information” and providing a few easy responses.

Dust off that email list and entice previous customers to take a survey about their experience in doing business with you. If you want them to provide a lot of information, maybe offer them a discount coupon code for their next purchase upon completion of the survey. Be respectful of people’s time and they’ll be more likely to help you out.

6. Ask For Reviews

I was once told, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Whether you’re looking for actionable customer feedback or encouraging customers to leave a Google or Yelp review, it’s important to give them the nudge. Encouraging honest reviews do a double duty of giving you the insight into their experience while building out your SEO portfolio.

Asking for an honest review while encouraging to reach out to you directly to solve any issues they may have had before leaving the review will help you accumulate positive feedback while still taking action on the kinks and hiccups a customer may have encountered.

7. Track Non-Verbal Communication

Every action a user takes on your website is a vote. The funnels and processes that get the most clicks and the most user engagement, are essentially being “voted” for. Using Google Analytics to track users’ behavior flow shows you when and where you might have lost them. What page are they coming into the site on, what’s the bounce rate, where do you lose them. A user’s behavior tells you exactly what’s working, and where the disconnect is in within your funnel.

Tracking who comes to your site, what they do, how they engage with the content, and identifying the number of returning versus new users can be vital to understanding what your users are saying about your business, what their expectations are, and how you can better design and implement to meet their needs.

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8. Put Yourself In Their Shoes

You might hear what your customer is saying, but you might not fully grasp what they’re telling you until you put yourself in their position. Clear cache, open a new browser, and go through your site as a new user. Ask yourself “how can I make this process easier? Is there anything more I can do for them?”

One you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’ll quickly learn what the issues are that each user faces every time they visit. Make notes and tag issues with the site easily with The Bug Squasher. It’s a simple approach to get into the mind of your customer and it’s doesn’t involve implementing suggestions from listicles on Top 5 Tactics That Boost Conversion.

9. Automate The News

Use Google Alerts to monitor what the web is saying about you. Get automatic updates on stories, posts, and articles about your business. Automate the information gathering process to find what previous customers and users are saying about your brand.

This works well for bigger brand names. Automatically receiving daily, weekly, or monthly digests of all of the content Google has to offer about your company is a great way to keep tabs on your brands reputation and image.

10. Use Tools

If every click is a vote, then track those clicks better with heat maps. Use heat map tools to see where people are clicking on any given page, and where they spend the most time within your pages’ content.

Perhaps you want people to sign up for your newsletter, but they’re missing the call to action completely. Use heat maps to see where their interest lies and adjust. Run split tests for different page variations and see how they stack up against one another. The way your users interact with each page will tell you something different.

Final Thoughts…

In the end, it comes down to customer service. What are your users telling you? How can you better serve your customers and give them what they need? Whether through social media, direct email, live chat, or non-verbal communication your users are speaking loudly. It’s important to implement the appropriate tools and processes to capture this information to better tailor their experience.

– The Bug Squasher Team

PS. Communication is the cornerstone to growth. Ignore it and you’re dead in the water, ensure you have the best process and tools in place for success and you’re golden. 

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