At Rivergate Marketing, one of the services we offer our clients is conducting confidential customer interviews on their behalf. The benefits of this service cannot be overstated. Keeping a pulse on how clients perceive your company is invaluable to relationship management. Learning where you are excelling and discovering where there is room for improvement allows you to improve those relationships. Beyond relationship management, the cumulative insights of conducting between five and fifteen interviews will help inform your marketing strategy.
Why Do Customer Interviews
Although you may think that you know your clients well, we have found that people speak differently to a third party in an interview than they do directly to you. We also touch on topics that would not come up over a casual lunch. The purpose of these interviews is:
- Clarify buyer personas and pain points
- Discover patterns and common characteristics of your ideal clients
- Fine-tune your unique value proposition
- Discover why customers buy from you
- Find opportunities to add or adjust your service offering
What the Interviews are Like
With an engineer-turned-marketer on staff and more than a decade of experience in this industry, we understand the “lingo,” and create an easy environment to receive feedback from customers that they may not feel comfortable sharing directly. Our conversational tone guides customers to reveal important insights that go beyond just criticisms and compliments about working with your company, and truly helps to gain an understanding of the full story behind your “buyer personas.” We dig into the details to find out what “pain points” your customers face on a daily basis, what projects are on their wishlist, and what they are currently struggling with or have struggled with in the past. We get a feel for their business climate to understand what customers are interested in or can afford to pursue as far as technological advances or software updates.
Understanding Your Services
The information we collect from the interviews helps us assist our clients in targeting future services that could be offered and would be useful for their customers. It also highlights areas where information may not be as clearly communicated as it could be. Through these conversations, we have had clients find that their customers weren’t aware of the full range of offered services, and have worked quickly to help our clients remedy that through updates on their websites and other marketing materials.
One of the great benefits that we see come out of these interactions is the testimonials we are able to secure. When the customer experience has been a good one, we are typically able to obtain permission to use their positive feedback as testimonial quotes, which can be worth their weight in gold. In some cases, we have also been able to format whole case studies based on our conversations, helping to add relevant content promoting services through new marketing collateral, website updates, and for use on social media.
Improved Customer Relationships
A side benefit of these interviews is that it makes the customer feel valued and “heard.” As a customer, it is easy to feel like once the deal is made and the project completed, that their opinions or thoughts about how things went no longer matters. Conducting these interviews shows an interest in growing and improving the way business is done and gives the customer a safe place to give their feedback in a meaningful way – whether it is all complimentary, or even if it ends up giving insight into an area that needs improvement.
Overall, we find the majority of the feedback to be overwhelmingly positive, and we have also discovered a few areas where our clients could improve. In general, the people we speak with are very responsive and receptive to our line of questioning, and we gain a lot of valuable insight into their experience, as well as information about how they research finding solutions to their problems. Clients who have received our “Customer Insights” package report that they have enjoyed reflecting on the completed project and seeing the situation from both sides.
At Rivergate Marketing, we believe customer interviews are an essential tool to gain valuable insights into your business and your customers. Working as a marketing partner to our clients, we uphold strict confidentiality on all aspects of the interview process. If you feel that your business could benefit from this type of market research, reach out to Georgia Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can assist you with your marketing efforts.