When was the last time you had a conversation with a customer?
Your customers are a rich source of content, marketing, and product ideas but many businesses try to isolate their customers like unwanted puppies.
That doesn't mean you have to handle all of the customer service or sales. That means every now and then you take time to talk or write to your customers directly.
You will also want to avoid the filtering that's done in focus groups or surveys.
Will it be time-consuming? Yes.
Will it be annoying at times? Yes.
Will you want to be working on something more important? Yes.
But understanding your customer's wants, needs, and pains will pay you back 100x.
If you're already having conversations with customers, keep it up and take note of what you notice.
Getting started is easy. Just pick up 1 or 2 customer service conversations this week. Or be proactive and write an email or three to different types of customers.
Good types to start with are long-term customers, brand new customers, and customers who haven't bought from you in awhile. This range will get you a variety of responses.
If you use Repeat Customer Insights you can use its automatic customer segmenting to make that even easier. Just pick a segment you're interested in from the visual Customer Grid and grab any one of the customers listed.