How to date your customers (ideas to boost stakeholder engagement)

How to date your customers (ideas to boost stakeholder engagement)

By Jason Ku · 1 March 2017 · 2 minute read

In the world of insights, we are tasked with two main goals:

  1. To find the insights and "aha" moments
  2. To be heard and impact your organization. 

Recently, we’ve heard from many of our clients that they want to improve stakeholder engagement and look for new ways to make an impact. Luckily for us, when working with online communities, we have daily contact and engagement with customers (who are also your stakeholders), and it’s the perfect place to share feedback and get them connected with your other internal teams.

We’ve found that one of the best ways to get your teams and stakeholders to listen is to actually to hear it from your customer’s mouth, not yours. 

What are some ways to do this? We split it up into 3 layers of engagement with customers or Voice of Customer (VOC) members:

This is probably not the the way to do engagement

Bring the VOC to life through online activities

One of the first steps to getting your stakeholders involved is to take your research and online activities beyond surveys. Go ahead, allow your members to share photos, videos, and upload their own content to really engage with your team. Try some of the following:

  • Discussion forums with a moderator from the brand (product/service expert)
  • Mobile ethnography for customer journey, product usage, or showing us around their home
  • Diary projects to track usage of apps, services, or U&A
  • Discussion forums w/ photos about first experiences with your brand
  • Online live chats/Skype interviews

Bring customers to your meetings

Physical representation emphasizes the importance of your customers. You've probably heard of the story of how Jeff Bezos sets the tone of his meetings by leaving an empty chair during his meetings to represent the “most important person in the room”, the customer. Some specific ways to do this with your members:

  • Recruit members to join a section of your meeting(s)
  • Have members pre-record videos with questions for board meetings/marketing meetings
  • Setting up posters/wall portraits with customer photos and stories

Host events with stakeholders and customers
Want to build customer loyalty AND get insights for your teams? Make them feel special by inviting them to an event and connect with them face to face. Here are some ways our clients have done this:

  • Invite customers to tour unique areas of your office/company to get connected with the brand and thank them
  • Invite members to other marketing/promotional events as a perk of being in VOC
  • Co-creation workshops involving customers, brand team, and innovation team

Your customers are smart; they know when they’re being involved and when you’re listening to them. Go ahead and get them involved! Have any other questions or ways that have worked for your organization? Let us know and shoot us a note to get connected!