Do You Understand What Your Customers Are Saying?

“Who have you worked with before?”

“We used to work with Internal Solutions.”

“So you did it in-house?”

“No, thats the name of the company.”

“Oh.”

The above conversation helps to emphasize an important point. It always helps to know what your customer is talking about. Every industry has its own jargon and learning it can help you relate to your customers. You don’t have to learn every phrase used in every industry, but learning some of the more commonly used terms can help you better understand what your customers are saying (ERP means different things to people in the healthcare and retail industries than it does to when talking about software). It also shows that you are interested in their situation and understand their particular needs.
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Research: Four types of delivery techniques

Win Loss interviews and surveys generate lots of good information but the information is lost if we can’t communicate it clearly. After all, research without action is a waste of time. Yet many times, researchers create a massive text document with loads of great data. The impact is lost if we don’t cull out the key information and make recommendations on how to use it.

It’s important to understand how different people absorb information. Some people prefer to read the details and come up with their own conclusions; others prefer a presentation or video that summarizes the analysis.
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Purpose, shared value, and the #SocialEra

Why are some people crazy for Apple products and others scornful? I see it every day. One person will post something—pro or con—and the crazy Apple people respond with iPhone this and iMac that, followed soon by an equally virulent screed from the anti-Apple people.

The same is true for Google products.

I think Nilofer Merchant may have discovered the root cause. Apple people and Google people and Microsoft people have not bought these vendor’s products; they’ve bought their vision.

In 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, Nilofer Merchant writes:

The social object that unites people isn’t a company or a product; the social object that unites people is a shared value or purpose. Purpose is a better motivator than money. Money, while necessary, motivates neither the best people not the best in people. Purpose does.

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Computers aren’t always the answer

I was in Toronto on Saturday for the Toronto Product Camp and noticed the key drop had a slot for “Happy with Your Stay?” and one for “Needs Improvement”.

What a delightfully low-tech solution. Happy? Or not? Drop your room key to tell us.

For the hotel, just count the number of keys at the end of the day to know how you’re doing. How many Promoters? How many Neutral or Detractors? I don’t think they need to do a follow up survey or phone call. (But of course, they could, since my room number is probably coded on the key, so it’s not as anonymous as many might think.)

We encourage you to do surveys for the quantitative and interviews for the qualitative. But don’t miss low-tech opportunities to get a quick idea of how you’re doing.