People-watching at a coffee shop can tell you a lot about the surrounding neighborhood. The demographics of the customers and non-customers, the ebb and flow of commuter traffic, the dynamics of other nearby businesses and competitors, or even potential changes that are starting to impact the community.
However, when you watch and for how long you watch can greatly impact the amount of information you gather and its relevance. There is tremendous value in gaining a snapshot perspective of a neighborhood on any given day, but there is even greater worth in keeping a finger on the ongoing pulse of a community.
This is the same balance companies must strike when evaluating voice-of-the-customer eListening as a part of their data analysis and ongoing marketing measures.
All businesses, B2B, B2C, and B2G have a customer they serve and need to satisfy day-in and day-out. Yet, many businesses take an ad hoc approach towards understanding the sentiment and perception of their customers.
When evaluating a current or potential investment, campaign or ongoing work, a voice-of-the-customer snapshot – like the Metric Centric CV Snapshot– can be exactly what you need for a “freeze frame” evaluation. Yet, this “one-off” study cannot predict the shifting tides of customer opinion or forecast unexpected changes in the market.
To maintain that level of understanding, an ongoing eListening effort is needed. It is essential to establish a clear learning cycle that:
- Sets a benchmark at the beginning of a year or campaign
- Monitors and evaluates monthly
- Provides detailed periodic reviews, and
- Completes a comprehensive end-of-year or end-of-cycle summary report
Creating this system internally can be cumbersome and time consuming for organizations. This explains why data analysis firms (like Metric Centric) which specialize in measuring customer sentiment and audience perception partner seamlessly with businesses. Solutions like the Audience Measurement Program (AMP) give businesses, nonprofits, and agencies alike access to customer insights that are quantifiable and actionable.
This level of monitoring can be established for industry topics, branded products, and competitors and can be executed without adding additional reporting burdens on business. Through an ongoing eListening program, organizations are able to actively evaluate:
- Brand Positioning
- Competitive Benchmarking
- Sentiment Monitoring
- Seasonal/Periodic Trending
- Unexpected Market or Customer Anomalies
- Unforeseen Blind Spots
All customers talk. The question is if organizations are actively listening.