Why does business need customer insight?

Business and organization need consumer insight for making better business decisions in marketing or services. In psychological area, consumer insight is to know what consumers think and feel in products, services or brand (Stone, Bond & Foss, 2004). In recent years, customers are more demanding. Their expectations have risen and it is challenging for companies to delight them. Moreover, companies have a short time period to respond customers’ wants and needs (Kumar & Reinartz, 2012).

The first step to get customer insight is listening customer feedback. Customer feedback or voice of the customer (VOC) is a term used in business for describing the in-depth process of gathering a customer's expectations, preferences and dislike. The traditional approaches for collecting VOC are research, both quantitative and qualitative, that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs (Voice of the customer, 2014). However, there methods use more time and have high expense. Furthermore, the weakness of traditional marketing research now is more obvious when the social media emerge (Zinner & Zhou, 2011).

Social media is a potent feedback channel for companies to understand consumers especially that the huge number of the user-generate
d content has increased on the social network sites (Zinner & Zhou, 2011). People share opinions online about products or services to inform themselves. Then, the contents are disseminated publicly; because it is no longer limited to people they actually know. So, companies must understand this fundamental shift in customer behavior and properly response.

Kumar and Reinartz (2012 p.10) recommend that the companies should take advantage from social media at least three keys. First, the companies can know their customers more by listening them online. Online contents help companies obtain what customers really preferences and dislike. Then, they can use this information to develop product, strategies and success measures. Second, online customers expect to get the response immediate from companies. So, companies should improve the time frame of customer feedback in order to meet customer need. Third, companies can use social media to advance communication or marketing strategies for their customers.

So, if you want to be the leadership in the industry, you should to know more than other competitors. With increasing usage of the social media, it will undoubtedly even more important as a source of qualitative and quantitative information. Customers can express their opinions and sentiments regarding products or services through social network sites. In addition, the large amount of customer feedback on social media, coming directly from customers, has become a new source from which to mine competitive intelligence too.

Jitrlada R.


Kumar, V. and Reinartz, W. (2012) Customer Relationship Management. Springer Texts in

Business and Economics, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-20110-3_2 (pp.113-143). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. 

Stone, M., Bond, A. and Foss, B. (2008). CONSUMER INSIGHT: How to Use Data and Market Research to Get Closer to Your Customer. London, UK: Kopan Page.

Voice of the customer. (2014) In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 9, 2014. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_the_customer.

Zinner, C. and Zhou, C. (2011). Social Media and the Voice of the Customer. In N. Smith & R. Wollan with C. Zhou (Eds.), The Social Media Management Handbook : everything you need to know to get social media working in your business (pp. 67-70). New Jersey : John Willey & Sons.
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