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Are you asking your customers this question enough?

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 21 Jan, 2011
Essential Essential topic

The question in question is "Tell us what you think!".

Surveying customers has always been popular, but the new opportunities for gaining feedback from customers is one of the most exciting aspects of engaging customers through digital channels for me. It's also an underrated aspect of web analytics. So when I was reviewing the 2011 cScape engagement report, the section on adoption of technology for product development and innovation caught my eye.

Feedback through analytics or surveys about customers"€™ online experience, whether it"€™s website, mobile, email or social is always useful to improve the way we design experiences. But what interests me most are the opportunities for learning more about how we can improve our brand offering to customers by innovating core or value-added products or services.

The classic example of this is the Dell Ideastorm approach where customers suggest product innovations and then other customers rate or comment on these. Smart! Particularly in the way they closed the loop to feedback on the suggestions and explain that what they were doing based on suggestions.

Another interesting innovator here is Innocentive.com which acts as an ideas intermediary. Companies can put a challenge out to the community with an award to the solver who develops the best solution.

I think one of the main engagement opportunities in 2011 will be to make use of new tools that make it easy to get customer feedback, either in an open or closed environment, where ideas are initially limited to a large customer panel. You can now setup an Ideastorm survey in minutes. Given my interest in this topic, I"€™ve been collecting a series of tools in different categories to help with this approach at Customer feedback tools.

The research shows that social networks, enewsletters and user ratings and feedback are the three top methods for product development and innovation. This highlights that we don"€™t need complex methodologies to gain insights. I love the example of clothing e-retailer Howies who used their Facebook page to ask "€œWhat is the one thing we could do to improve your experience"€. They got over 70 responses, some negative, many positive, but all useful. Fantastic!

An article by Dave originally published in the cScape 2011 Customer Engagement report which you can download below.

Recommended link: Download customer engagement report 2011 (no longer available by Issuu).

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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