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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Listening to Customers & Bathroom Blogfest 09

Bathroom Blogfest 09One reason for participating in the Bathroom Blogfest - other than its role in enhancing the customer retail experience - is the opportunity to apply a fresh perspective on subjects often taken for granted. Take listening to customers.

I've mentioned listening before -- with Twitter and as a starting point for simple marketing.

Listening is critical.

How often do you listen to your customers? How frequently do you try to walk in her shoes to remind yourself of the points that Liane Li Evans cautioned us against in Liane Evans Blends Social Media & Search For Greater Marketing Impact? How do your customers refer to you and your products? Is it toilet or is it commode?

Fortunately, listening to customers can take place at any time, both online and offline. It's a matter of getting started and being open to the resulting interactions.

Via Twitter, I came across Faith Sheridan and learned that her bathroom design had been chosen for the HGTV's Designer's Challenge. It successfully created a serene and relaxing spa-like setting in what used to be an uninspiring master bathroom. I guarantee that Faith was able to envision and bring to life such a wonderful design because she listened closely to the homeowners and how they described their dream. Watch the video linked to from her blogpost; you'll get a feel for the space and how unique it is now.

And, via a LinkedIn lead that Copywriting Maven Roberta Rosenberg forwarded me -via Facebook- I discovered KBB, the UK based Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Industry's largest exhibition and network and KBB News.

I explored further and found a Twitter account @kbb news, a LinkedIn Group, and Flickr photo sets with the most lovely bathroom images... Oh, and they also have a blog, Grahame's KBB blog, active since August of 2008. All platforms for listening to customers.

[Interestingly, the National Kitchen & Bath Association [the US equivalent?] website, although it offers plenty of interesting consumer Kitchen & Bath tools, and lots of kitchen and bath inspiration, doesn't offer access to social tools. I remember their having a blogger back in 2007...]

How do you listen to your customers? How do you elicit feedback from them or simply observe how they go about interacting with you?

And, how accessible are you to them?

Listening leads to insights. Insights allow you to truly Flush The Recession. Perhaps you haven't ventured far into your customers' listening space up til now. I'm hopeful that you will want to plunge into those forgotten spaces, start listening [definitely rethink the experience that your bathrooms offer customers] and turn those insights into innovations that differentiate you from everyone else.

Simple marketing starts with listening, no?

Happy Bathroom Blogfest 09!


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