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Thursday, January 24, 2008

7 Steps to Take During the Next Week to Listen to Your Customers

Back in Oct I wrote a post on some ideas on how you can listen to your customer. A couple of months have passed and this is becoming an even more critical part of your business, your brand and your success.

Let's face it we never really controlled our brand, as advertisers we were able to out shout the conversations. Social shopping has changed that, we are now just part of the conversation and to be a great conversationalist firm you have to listen. It is simple. If you don't know what people are saying how you can even be part of the conversation and help guide your brand.

Understand what bloggers are saying (and participate in the discussion), see what people are doing with your brand on the social sites and ensure you are trying to talk to your customers on a daily basis. Best of all, look for feedback using your site, have product reviews, surveys and polls then flow this information through your organization and use it to drive change.

It is hard to change, we are used to shouting our message out loud but a conversation between interested parties, be it positive or negative interest, is still a one to one conversation that will do more for your brand than any mass media campaign will do over the long term. To get started do one of these each day for the next week:

1. Search your brand on Google and go deep into the results looking to see who is linking to you and why
2. Run a search on Technorati and find 10 blogs that have posted about your brand
3. Listen in on your call centre for 30 min
4. Email your top purchaser from this Christmas season and ask them how you did
5. Call a customer that used to be a regular purchaser that is no longer active and ask what you can do to be better
6. Thank a blogger for commenting on your firm - do this by commenting on their blog
7. Search Facebook, Squidoo and Yahoo Answers to see what people are saying about you and your brand

If you do this, and it will take no more than 30 min each day, you will begin to get a picture of the conversations that are taking place and how you can start to participate.

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