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I have been reading a lot lately on how to become a Social CEO as well as about the value your employees’ first hand conversations with your customers to uncover not only what it is they want but more importantly what they need.

But, what if there was an easy way to talk directly to the customer or partner and get that input unfiltered from the source? Wouldn’t this open whole new doors of customer service?  Let your target audience tell you directly what they think could be improved upon or what they think is really working.

You should be constantly gauging the voice of your partners and customers so that you can ensure you are giving them exactly the right thing for them. Delighting your customers should be priority number one in your handbook. When you place such a huge emphasis on pleasing them, you set yourself up for success.  Loyal customers are worth ten times more than their first purchase. They trust the business so they tell others about how great you are. When people see how much you care about their opinion, they will spread the word about your great customer service, thus garnering you more business.

One of the key points of marketing, especially inbound marketing, is knowing your audience. Everything comes down to your buyer personas! Why not let them actually talk to you? We know that a buyer persona represents your ideal customer and help us to know whom we are marketing to, but what if you could skip the persona and talk to all of your customers as if in a 1:1 conversation? Your customers already have a basis of what you stand for and what your product can do for them, so when you open up that dialogue they can really help further your business.

In addition to that, you should use survey tools to gain a better understanding of the customers and partners really want. A normal survey is great and informative, but it is even more helpful to be able to comment and vote on specific issues, thus helping you delve into a more thought-out and insightful perspective. It is a good idea to pre-populate the issues and then go straight to an open forum for your audience’s feedback (and that means in both ratings and actually commentary.) It is a good idea to let the customer tell you exactly what’s up!