When was the last time you paid attention to your customer? Like, actually paid attention to them. As in the actual individual behind that social media profile photo or avatar. The answers to that question vary quite a bit, however, if we’re to be honest with ourselves, we can always do more. After all, your customers make your products and services successful and are the reason your company exists.
With the overwhelming amount of consumer data out there, it’s easy to get caught up in the mix and lose sight of the simple fact that behind every single one of those numbers are real people, however, we’ve become so obsessed with quantitative data that we’ve forgotten to pay attention to the people behind those numbers. Rather. we’ve become so consumed with and subsequently lost in the numbers that represent real people.
Research data doesn’t reach out to you.
Metrics don’t tell you what they’re feeling at that very moment.
Analytics don’t buy your product(s).
For a long time technology removed the human element from running a business, and much of life for that matter. And in many ways, it still does. However, in many ways, due to the customization and evolutionary intimacy of those same technologies that once removed the human element from life, technology has brought the human element back. It’s just changed it’s face and the mediums with which we communicate it. In fact, as a business owner, marketer, and/or PR professional, you can openly engage in ways never before with your customers, and even though it may be digitally, it can still be done in a personalized and intimate manner. What these digital channels do improve is perception, other consumers can now see this engagement, so it has a natural scaling effect. Another customer witnessing high levels of engagement in a public platform such as social media, is just as effective as actually engaging that customer.
Data and metrics are great and absolutely should be a key dynamic to decision making, but it should be just that, one part of a complete strategy; a strategy that must include actual consumer engagement. Your customers pay your bills, they influence other customers to either purchase or not purchase from you, and they are the lifeblood of your company. Combining data with actual customer feedback and emotional responses, good and bad, allows for a perfectly symbiotic approach to decision making using qualitative and quantitative data.
Your customers live on their mobile devices. They’re taking selfies, they’re sharing, engaging, and searching. Find them and listen to them.