This is the most amazing feat of mind reading you are ever going to see. Mind readers usually make vague, hokey statements. But this guy, Dave, accurately pulls specific details straight out of the minds of these innocent people: an orange motorcycle, a best friend’s name and even how much someone spent on clothes last month. Truly amazing.
Watch this video if you have a minute:
If you watched the entire video, you found out that the trick here is that Dave, the mind reader, had “hackers” pour through Facebook and other online accounts to glean specific personal information from his subjects. Certainly not mystical, but effective.
One of the greatest mind readers I know is Joanna Wiebe. Joanna is the Founder of Copy Hackers, a crazy popular blog on copywriting and conversion optimization. I had the joy of hearing Joanna speak at this past Microconf. She shared many great tactics and insights but my favorite insight was:
“Your messages don’t come from looking in the mirror, they come from listening to your customers.”
Damn straight Joanna. It’s amazing how often people screw this up, including me. We get excited about the things we create and we tell everyone how awesome we are. But how you think about your business doesn’t matter. What matters is how your customers think about your business.
Luckily you don’t have to learn to read tarot cards to get this information. Not only will prospective customers willingly tell you what they think about your business, they already have. Joanna talked about places (and we added a few others) where customers will bare their souls and reveal what they think about your business, your competitors and your industry.
Tools like Qualaroo are built for this sort of thing and just by adding them on your site, you can glean valuable information quickly IF you have enough traffic. But, chances are, you don’t have enough traffic so let’s move on.
This is nice and easy to setup and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Here is how the folks over at GrooveHQ did it: But this info is so valuable that the lovable geniuses Steve and Allan from LessAccounting built a tool that helps with this called LessChurn.
You already have a contact form, a support email and maybe even a chat software like Olark or Intercom. That’s pretty easy to collect. But making notes when talking on the phone or giving demos will give you a lot of valuable info.
Support emails may not tell you as much about what they love about your product, but you will learn what people don’t like. You’ll also hear terminology that surprises you. You might say “notifications” but if everyone says “alerts”, change the dang name.
A quick Twitter search of your company name is a good way to see how people talk about you or your competitors. But you also may want to look for emotional keywords like “love” and “hate” to see if anyone is talking trash about your competitor or gushing over a certain feature.
It amazes me how many reviews are on Amazon. If you sell a physical product, this is a treasure trove of customer information. But even if you sell a service or a software, there are books on just about every topic you can imagine. Search for a book that is relevant and dig into the reviews to see how people talk about it.
You can also try other large review sites like Yelp, Quora, Product Hunt or Capterra.
If the large review sites don’t turn up much, you can sometimes get at good information on smaller review sites, forums or blogs through Google. Here are some basic searches to try:
It’s tough to get enough responses from surveys unless you have a big audience, but Hiten Shah brought up a very clever trick. Run a Twitter ad targeted toward people who follow your competitors with a link to a survey.
Testimonials on your site or competitors sites are a great place to get customer insight because people distill their admiration in a short statement, impactful statements. If you’re feeling adventurous you can send those folks a quick email to get even more info out of them.
Sometimes just freaking emailing people is the best answer. Email customers, past customers, free trials, email subscribers or even people who tweeted something relevant. Just make sure that these folks are prospective customers.
Once you collect all of your customer feedback. When people do give you feedback, here are some things to pay particular attention to:
After you’ve taken the time gather this information, it’s time for the fun part, making money. Here are a few places to use it:
When you know what customers care about, you command attention. When you speak their language, you earn trust. When you have trust and attention, selling is easy.
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