Talking to customers can not be a mistake.
It’s never a bad thing to speak to your customers. You can even say that companies – including and in particular B2B companies – essentially do nothing but try to communicate with their customers. Most do this systematically via their sales team, once a quarter or as an end-of-year review – as regularly as they see fit. So what’s the point of a special blog article on something as obvious as customer surveys?
Because they’re not, in fact, always as obvious as they should be. Because they often (only) look at aspects of co-operation, product quality, delivery reliability, service – and not the brand image. Neither do they consider the value of the brand or the benefits it offers its customers. In short: because they predominately focus on hard facts, i.e. the rational aspects.
Of course, such regular discussions are necessary, and we don’t in any way want to play down the importance of these. All we want to do here is to draw attention to another contact point, one that is particularly relevant in cases where a company, the brand, is repositioning itself or readjusting its current brand positioning.
So, immediately after the relevant direction has been defined in brand workshops and the influencers among the company’s employees have already been won over to this new direction in internal interviews. That’s what the last blog articles posted here recently were about. Customer surveys are the third step in basic brand communication – and also one of the communication activities most people don’t see as a specific communication activity, implemented in a targeted way.
Yet, a customer survey is perfect for exploring the emotional aspects of the brand. In particular in B2B communication, where the communication style is generally still rational, more and more entrepreneurs and marketing managers are discovering the value of an emotional tonality. Because here, too, it’s true: Only those who reach the heart and soul can open up the mind. We like to call this B2P – Business to People, to liken it to B2C and B2B communication. After all, the way we think about and rationalise our purchases is the same whether they’re private or business purchases. A multitude of publications on “neuromarketing” have corroborated this, among which the publication of the same name by Hans-Georg Häusel, already known for “Brain View” and his Limbic® model presented in this book.
Direct customer surveys are an excellent means for testing whether the specific emotional aspects, language and vocabulary of a given brand are still valid and/or the direction in or extent to which they may evolve. Crucial to the success of such a customer survey is that it doesn’t just reach the customer in the form of an automated email containing the obligatory link to a “short” survey that “will only take five minutes to complete”, rather that it arrives in the form of a personal email from contact persons who the recipient knows. This makes the customer see the survey as relevant to them, which motivates them to take part in it.
For more information, please contact:
Creative Consulting / Group Head Text
christoph.siwek (at) schindlerparent.de