Top 5 Things to Look for When Gathering Customer Intelligence


February 28, 2017 By

Cheryl Dykstra


When’s the last time you talked to one of your customers?

Asking and listening to what your customers have to say can give you invaluable insights to their pain points, their needs, and the exact language they use to talk about your product or service.

Once you gain their feedback, you can use it to market your business better; by utilizing copy that makes it feel like you’re reading their minds. But at the end of the day, all these tactics revolve around one thing: giving your customers a better experience.

Here’s what five marketing experts had to say about gathering customer intelligence:

1. “Understand the friction.”

Peep Laja — Founder of ConversionXL

You get to learn two very important things (among other stuff): the hesitations and questions they had before buying/signing up, and what matters to them about the product.

The first bit helps you understand the friction in the buying process—so you can tweak the website copy and offer accordingly.

The second bit helps you figure out how your customers use the product, and what matters to them when they’re shopping for it.

This again helps you improve the way you sell, and improve the product / offer itself.

2. “If you don’t know how to speak their language, they’re never going to hand you a single dollar.”

Brian Dean — Founder of Backlinko

The #1 thing is the language that they use. Sure, you can learn about your customers’ thoughts, fears, wants and desires by chatting with them over a cup of Starbucks.

But if you don’t know how to speak their language, they’re never going to hand you a single dollar.

For example, I ask all of my new email subscribers, “What’s the #1 thing you’re struggling with?” And to date I’ve received stacks of replies (over 25,000 to be exact).

These replies are solid gold for my business. I used to say thing like “It’s frustrating not to get traffic.” But I noticed a lot of my subscribers referred to their sites as “ghost towns.”

So today I’ll say something like: “I know it’s frustrating to feel like your site is a ghost town.” That copy resonates with them significantly more than text that I pulled out of thin air.

Bottom line: Don’t just study what your customers say, but how they say it. Their words=priceless marketing intel.

3. “Find out their biggest pains and struggles.”

Joanna Wiebe — Founder of Copyhackers

Only your customers can tell you the actual parts of their workflow and/or day-to-day lives that your solution can (or does) make better.

Once you talk to them, you quickly find out their biggest pains and struggles, and you can then use that customer data to improve your product or service.

4. “Improve the onboarding experience or delivery process of your product.”

Pat Flynn — Founder of Smart Passive Income

Besides the obvious (what they like and dislike about your product), I think one of the most important conversations you can have with a customer is what could have been done to improve the onboarding experience or delivery process of your product.

That ‘first touch’ with your product is incredibly important and that first impression can often determine one’s overall general feeling about a product. This will help with getting reviews and testimonials, retention rate, and obtaining more repeat customers down the road.

5. “Know where your best customers are.”

Rand Fishkin — Founder of Moz

As a marketer, you need to know where your best customers are—what they read, who they follow, what events they attend, how they consume content, etc.

That’s what I’d urge every inbound marketer to talk to their customers about, so they can effectively reach more people like them.



If you never talk to your customers, you're losing out on a wealth of information. Information that can not only help you grow your business, but also save you from wasting money on advertising the wrong products to the wrong people.

Need help gathering customer intelligence? Call SMT today at 407-682-2222 or use the contact form below to get in touch!

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