Finding Out What Customers Think Of Your Brand


Finding Out What Customers Think Of Your Brand

For a long time now, feedback on your brand was gathered through traditional channels. Customers would interact with service personnel, call into the customer service center or simply write a letter. Of course these aren’t the only ways to receive and obtain market feedback. And with the online world opening up, so are your options.

Consider these:

Website surveys

Placing a survey on your website has benefits. You can ascertain the usability of your site (how easy you make it for users to find what they need), as well as get direct feedback related to your company and products. Companies like Vovici and Usability Sciences Corporation are just two companies who can help you plan and implement site surveys.

Online surveys

You can rent an industry list or use your own customer list to find out what people think. Brainstorm what you want to know, and then plan a survey that will ask those questions. Be sure that questions aren’t skewed to imply a certain answer—you always want objective results. Various companies like Zoomerang and SurveyMonkey offer free online surveys. Or, turn to a market research firm that can help you develop and implement a survey for you.

Discussion boards and forums

If you think there’s a good chance people are talking about your brand, then it’s probably happening online. Both Yahoo! and Google offer easy ways to form groups devoted to a topic, so search there for your company or terms related to what your company offers. Try doing a search for your company or a key industry term and add “+forum” to the end of the search string. Once you encounter active forums or discussions boards, register and start monitoring what members say. You’ll also want to search the archives to see what’s been said in the past.

Social media monitoring tools

More and more companies are beginning to develop effective social media monitoring tools. These new tools not only track blogs and boards, but also photo- and video sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube. Think of these services as the equivalent to traditional print clipping services. I recommend looking into Techrigy’s Social Media Manager, Radian6 and Visible Technologies.