In this ever evolving age of real-time data and always-on social channels, you would be hard-pressed to find organizations that disagree with the importance of listening to customers.
However, “listening” may not be enough.
Your organization needs to “always listen”.
The distinction between “always listening” vs. “listening” can mean the difference between success and failure.
Organizations that listen:
- Are proficient at engaging market research and analytics when decisions need to be made.
- Effectively respond to loud customers, social media fires and stated unmet needs.
- Have a good understanding of the “whats” and the “hows”.
- Pay close attention to customers but may not focus on other stakeholders.
Organizations that always listen:
- May conduct exploratory and tracking research independent of decision processes.
- Continuously monitor and anticipate changes in customer needs.
- Have a deep understanding of “whys”.
- In addition to customers, the “always listening” organization collects feedback from other stakeholders, such as employees, partners and investors.
How to become an “always listening” organization
For larger companies, “always listening” means creating mechanisms to collect, analyze and report on trends seen from big-data real time. Pulling in and manipulating customer data with syndicated information can provide proprietary insights in a dashboard that competitors cannot replicate. Brand tracking studies provide critical insight into the health of the brand over time.
Smaller companies can implement social media listening tools, monitor online comments and review inbound customer communications. Some tools to help you “always listen” include: Synthesio, Hootsuite and Brandwatch.
It’s also important to systematically obtain feedback from your important stakeholders, both current and potential, about their needs and how they could be better met.
Do you continuously monitor the market in which you compete?
As a leading strategic marketing consulting firm, EquiBrand Consulting helps our clients obtain deep insight into customers and competitors, as the basis for marketing strategy formulation. Contact us to learn more.