It is critical to create content that appeals to your various audiences, meets their needs, and converts to sales. I have written about client research many times, but today I am going to discuss using your clients to gather data for future content ideation.
There are questions you could ask them that could help you fill in the possible gaps in marketing and also help you reach your targeted audiences in an effective way. Let’s look at a few…
1. What made you trust us? #what
Trust is a part of sales, so what made your clients trust you? Was it a certain message in offline marketing, online marketing, social media, shared email, content on your site, sales people, video, information provided, online reviews, etc.?
Find out what made your clients “trust” and know that each client will probably have a different answer. When you have this information you will have some direction on what you should be focusing on and perhaps what you haven’t focused on enough.
ALWAYS, at the end of every question you ask, verify where they saw the information that made them trust you, use you, etc.
2. How did you find us? #demographics
This question should be asked with the initial contact and documented, but if you haven’t done this make sure you ask now. Getting some insights into what marketing strategy(ies) brought you clients is important – website, video, email, TV ad, etc.
Again, you should get different answers from different clients. Make sure when you collect demographic data with this information – age, gender, location, etc. The answer to this question will give you insight in how to reach different demographics via the right medium.
3. What do you like/dislike about our website? #insight
It is important to know, and accept, what your clients (and others) think of your website. When you understand what people like, you know which strategies and/or messages are working, and this gives you some direction. Finding out that people hate the colors, content, layout, and anything else is really good information as well.
You need to know how to reach your clients and understand how you may be pushing them away.
4. What information do you wish we had provided upon first contact? #needs
So the client chose you, but they may have wished they had additional information. Find out what it is! You can assume that other people would like this information as well and perhaps address it with blog posts, videos, brochures, social media and email marketing.
5. What information do you wish we had explained upon completion of services? #lacking
Sometimes a business completes a service and walks away and the customer isn’t sure what they should or shouldn’t do next. For example, we had our pool deck refinished and they told us not to scrub it or use chemicals on it for 30 days.
So let’s say the company forgot to mention that and I used chemicals on the deck and it suddenly looked bad. I could assume the company did a crappy job or I could feel agitated that they didn’t warn me. If your team failed to explain something you need to know what that was.
This type of data will give you a ton of ideas for content – video, blog, email marketing, brochures when you leave, etc. Take good notes!
6. What information were you looking to find when you began searching for a company like ours? #goldmine
So, the client chose you, this is a good thing. Perhaps the client found the information they were looking for, but sometimes clients never found the information they were searching for online and they end up choosing whoever answers the question on the phone or via email first.
THIS is fantastic information for any business. What are customers looking for and possibly not finding? What have you and your competitors forgotten to address? What questions haven’t you answered? This is a content ideation goldmine!
7. What things did our sales people say or do right, and what did they say or do wrong? #gems
With this question you can often discover what your sales people said that the potential customer really needed to hear (think conversions). When you compile all your positive data you will see some common things that will give you great ideas for content. What needs were met? What questions were answered? How do you get this info out digitally?
When you hear what sales people did or said that the customer didn’t like you can learn what you need to avoid. This helps eliminate wasted time, effort and money in content creation.
8. What do you wish we would do better? #truth
Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but the reality is we all need to improve all the time. By understanding what clients wished you would do better you gain insight into what you can do to keep current clients for the long-term.
You also can use this information to create content that will convince new clients, that might have had a bad experience elsewhere, that you are the right company for them. Learning from your own mistakes is a sign of a smart business.
9. What did we do for you that might have been a pleasant surprise? #testimonials
You never know what your staff may have done to please a customer, but when you find out you can use that story as a testimonial and/or an opportunity to educate your staff.
10. Were there any promotions that made you decide we were the company for you? #valuable
We all have tools that track promotions, but sometimes businesses forget to ask about the promotions that really pushed a potential customer over the “I am not sure cliff.” When you can communicate with a customer directly you can dig deeper on why a certain promotion really worked.
You want to mark down demographic data on this one and where people saw the promotion. Use this information for future content creation and promotions.
11. Did you read online reviews about us? #where
If you can determine where people read positive reviews about your business you can always link to those reviews in various forms of content. Those reviews might push someone over that “cliff” I mentioned above.
Sometimes quoting those reviews can be helpful and it is always a good idea to personally reach out and thank the clients/customers that positively reviewed you.
There are always more questions!
Every business should come up with questions that really target their individual customers. The information you will receive is invaluable! If you are afraid people won’t take the time to answer questions for you, offer them a discount on a current service or a future service. Everyone loves a discount!