A lot of companies say that they know exactly what their customer's needs are. The problem is that many companies "think" they know what the customer wants but chances are that the art of actually "listening" to what they want and "watching" how they interact is usually de-prioritized. Why? Because it takes a real commitment, and typically there isn't a "customer listener" position at most companies.
But did you ever think there are very simple solutions out there--things your business could do to pop the needle clean off your revenue gauge? You might be surprised by my recommendations, since they're not all about technology. But hear me out. Sometimes "old school" techniques can't be replaced with bits and bytes.
1. Meet them.
Once per week schedule a phone call, Skype or meet in person with a customer and find out what they really like or don't like about what you offer. Flag them in your CRM tool like Insightly or Salesforce as "favorites". Track them as you answer their issues, they could become your biggest influencers. And don't just select folks because they're in your time zone; think global and actively pursue feedback from a solid profile of your customer base.
2. Exhibit at a tradeshow.
This may seem like old school, but the data you get from talking to strangers is awesome. The cost benefit analysis can be great. You'll get in front of people who are not your customers and the questions they ask and how they perceive your offering can be invaluable. Even if it's a $5000 show all in, you'll get some really great information that could more than cover the costs. If you can't go yourself, make sure to send people that really care and will translate this information.
3. Watch them.
Online use a tool like MixPanel or Intercom to track their behavior online. You might be surprised that it's not the behavior you'd expect. Then you can switch your navigation to get them to the point you want.
4. Email them.
This sounds obvious; however, make it seem more personal and less automated. Send them an email from an actual human being, not the company right after they've purchased or signed up for your service. Ask them to reply with a simple answer to a 1-2 simple questions: How did you hear about us and why did you sign up (or buy)?" If you do it as soon as they've interacted with you they're more likely to remember and respond. Business dashboard company Dasheroo does a great job at this and they probably get a 20% response rate. Pretty awesome.
5. NPS them.
Find out how your customers like you via a Net Promoter Score survey. It works by asking them 1 question: on a scale of 1-10 how likely they are to recommend you to a friend. Ongoing surveys give you an idea of how your customers like you. Try Wootric, a new app that manages NPS surveys inside your application.
It's easy to make listening a priority and it should be one of the biggest things your company prioritizes.