How well do you really know your most important customers, members, clients, or donors? The more you know about your key audience segments, the better you will be able to develop successful products and services that meet their needs and use the language that resonates most with them.
Can you picture your typical customers, clients, donors, or members in your mind? Do you really understand their challenges, the problems that cause them the most stress? What motivates them, worries them, makes them happy? In response, do you offer products or services that solve their problems, make a difference in their lives?
In addition to conducting whatever regular market research you can afford, take every opportunity you can to talk with your customers, clients, and members. Ask caring questions and listen carefully – not only do people love most of all to be listened to, but their answers can be the key to your success.
Use an ongoing combination of listening and engaging through one-on-one conversations and social media as well as market research to form the best picture possible of your most important constituents. People are probably already discussing your organization through social media sites like twitter and facebook, are you monitoring those conversations to learn and interact?
Conversations and listening can help clarify and explore further trends you learn through market research, just be sure to seek out discussions with enough people to get a complete picture and avoid basing decisions on just a couple of customers’ insights.
Reflect regularly on what you are hearing and learning and how you can help solve your constituents’ problems and make a difference in their lives. What if your goal was to see your customer’s face light up whenever someone mentions your organization’s name? Imagine what a strong force of customer evangelists you would have. What would it take to make that happen?