How to create the content your customer wants

Many companies are trying to make the step from "push marketing" to "pull marketing". In other words: they're trying to put themselves in their customers' shoes, and create content that strikes a chord. A good start, but what do you really need to do?

Learn to listen

Don’t be guided by assumptions; really try to find out what your customers want. How do you do this? By using these 3 tips:

1. Collect relevant feedback

Call centres, web care, reception desks and consultants: this is where your customer queries and complaints land. And with them, your customers’ wants and needs. However, this input rarely makes it to the marketing/communication department or content creators. Even worse: companies often don’t even realise this vast source of useful information is available.

Listening is not only good for your marketing output. It also provides input for good service content. This is what we did at Eneco. Frequently asked phone questions became useful service pages.

Ensure all this usable input doesn’t go to waste, and that your customer contact points have a direct line to your communication and content staff. For instance, through a weekly meeting, a data dump or a shared logbook.

2. Use a survey or poll

Even if customers already provide you with feedback, you can still engage in actively collecting information. A poll on your website or in your newsletter is a simple way to gather feedback. As is a tab on your pages where users can leave their tips or comments.

Do you want more information? Then you can use a questionnaire or survey. Make sure you write quality questions. And email them to your customers. Or phone them if they’ve agreed to this. Never just use multiple choice; it’s the extended customer responses that make the difference. Even though they will take more time to process. Of course, there are third parties that can do this type of research for you.

3. Have an actual conversation

As useful as information gathered from surveys, polls and customer contact points may be, one thing is missing: dialogue. You collect opinions, but you cannot ask follow-up questions to gain even better insights. That’s why we advise you to have an actual conversation with your customers.

Before the start of their busy season, we helped insurer 'De Amersfoortse' conduct a user test. Through various scenarios, our team tested the customer journey and experience. And used the results to improve content.

How you have a conversation with your customer isn’t important. It can be through a user test at your office, a time slot in your event schedule or a recurring panel discussion. Be sure to properly prepare these sessions; find the right target group for your questions and vice versa.

Work for your customers

Putting the customer first in this way, ensures you really work for them. It makes creating appropriate content easy, as the ideas will flow to you. And while you are so close to your customer; try working together. This way, you’ll create recognisable content that inspires, and reflects what your customers find important.

Published: 04-2019