How do you talk to your customers?

Group of Business People Holding Placards Forming Customer

Social media platforms and spaces foster conversations among companies and their customers in unprecedented ways.  In the B2B space, we’re just starting to figure out why do we want to have conversations, what’s their value,  how to conduct them, and how to how to nurture them over time.  How can your company talk to your customers online to add value to their experience with you?

That’s Tactic #4 from my article Ten Tactics to Drive B2B Sales with Social MediaTalk with your customers online.

Social media platforms make it easy to conduct surveys, to ask questions, and to comment on your customers’ observations in real time.  Our friend Nancy Myrland is a master (mistress?) of the conversation.  So is Gini Dietrich.  And Chris Brogan.

But if you’re not a marketing guru in a niche market, what does it mean to you for growing your business?  I recommend three key questions to pose to your customers:

  1. What do you like?  That is, what is it about our company, products, services, customer service, etc., that makes you happy to do business with us?  Because we would like to do MORE of that!  Do we make your life easier in specific ways?  Do we save you money?  Do we make things less complicated?  Are there ways that we are already delivering top-notch service but you have ideas for the cherry on top?
  2. What gets in your way?  What is it about our company, products, services, customer service, website, help desk, etc. that frustrates you, that makes you wish you were doing business with someone else rather than us?  Because we want to FIX it!  Or, if you are doing business with our competitors, what do you wish they would fix?  Help us create a new model of comprehensive service based on your needs.
  3. What do you want?  What do you want to learn, what can we help you understand, how can our industry knowledge be helpful to you?  What are the products or services that you think we could provide, that we are currently NOT providing, that would be of value to you?  How can we help?

Now, how do you use social media platforms to ask these questions?

  • post them on your blog and specifically ask for answers
  • conduct a poll or survey embedded in your e-newsletter
  • embed a survey or poll in your website
  • announce your survey or poll through social media sites and point to your poll location
  • embed the poll or link to it from LinkedIn and Facebook

Talking with customers starts with asking questions–discovery.  It pays big business development dividends to companies who embark on this strategy.

Have you used a survey or poll to interact with customers?  How did it work?  We’d love to hear from you.


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