91% of Companies say Customer Ideas drive Innovation. Here’s how to get the ones you need.

Customer communication is always essential, but further engagement of your customers for new ideas is an investment that provides huge dividends.                    

Trae Tessmann|
February 8, 2017
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From sales people and the marketing department to R&D and engineering, everyone thrives on new perspectives and intimate knowledge of their customers.

 

The best source of these perspectives is of course the customers themselves. Their feedback drives improvement and the development of new offerings because after all, you’ve built your products and services for them! So it’s no wonder why the overwhelming majority of companies see their customers as a strong source of new ideas.

 

But to get those valuable customer ideas, you’ve got to speak with them. Still, just listening to your customers isn’t enough. If you want actionable feedback and ideas from them, you’ve got to ask the right questions.

 

Here are 5 Questions you can ask your Customers to get their Ideas in your pipeline!

 

What’s your favorite part about Product/Service A?
Pick a product or service, and adjust your marketing and sales pitches according to the most attractive parts according to what customers have to say they like or dislike.

 

What else do you wish Product/Service A did?
Find new features or improvements for your offering based on customer preferences, aiming for greater customer satisfaction with your offering.

 

What aren’t we doing right now?
Discover opportunities for new products, services, or packages for your organization to up-sell current customers and grab a larger share of the market.

 

What are your goals for the next 12 months/5 years?
Better align your services and operations with the objectives of your customers, both in the short- and long-term, to maintain a stronger relationship.

 

How do you see your business/industry changing in the next 12 months/5 years?
Gain deeper perspective into future customer needs, setting yourself up to meet their new demands before they and the competition are fully aware of them.

 

Ready to start engaging your Customers for new Ideas?

 

Business is all about meeting the needs of your customer, and a company that can understand those needs before their competition is one with a serious advantage in the long-run. With sustained engagement with their customers, they’re cultivating an evolving list of customer ideas and needs, and can maintain continuous innovation.

 

But before you approach customers, you’ve got to understand what you want and are able to take on. Whether you opt to use innovative tools like innovation management software or not, that huge list of new customer ideas is useless if it doesn’t align with your strategic goals and capabilities as an individual or organization.

 

Here are 5 questions you should ask Yourself first to make the most of your efforts!

 

What are you capable of?
Can you afford to launch a brand new product? Or should you focus on engaging your customers for smaller improvements, new packages, and pricing strategies instead?

 

Who do you want to target?
Based on your goals, find the markets and customers that will provide the most actionable insights and ideas to improve your operation.

 

How will you entice them?
Customers are busy. Launching a competition for a prize or offering a discount for participation will get their attention and encourage their involvement.

 

How will you engage them?
Investments in multi-sided campaigns for the promotion and management of your questions are necessary. Ensure you can effectively reach and gather customer ideas through different channels.

 

What is your timeline?
New products and services take time. Depending on the number of customers on the book you need to prioritize which ideas you want from which customers.

 

 

Customer communication is always essential, but further engagement of your customers for new ideas is an investment that provides huge dividends. Not only will you get new insights and feedback, but you’ll form stronger relationships with those customers, and have everything you need to better build an offering that meets their needs.

 

 

If you’re serious about engaging your Customers for new ideas, let’s talk!

 

About Trae Tessmann

Co-founder of Ideawake

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