Did you know that feet can talk? Most of us will experience the fallout of customers talking with their feet at some point during our internet business activities. Often, the loudest communication we can hear is that of customers picking up their loyalty and decamping to another service provider, or arriving at your site to stick around and make purchases. This activity is easy to benchmark and monitor, giving us outstanding insight in to how we are performing as business owners online.
Measuring the success of our business through customer footfall is nothing new. Blogging is the perfect platform for producing solid metrics relating to customer engagement, as we have immediate access to the number of visitors we have each day, information about who has made a purchase and a list of comments that have been published to our sites. This has benefits and disadvantages – while it’s great that we have the power to stay so close to the action and understand trends and preferences relating to our site, it can also be disheartening when people leave our subscriber lists or choose to go elsewhere for products and services.
Today’s world of online trading is more brutal than the commercial environment business people used years ago. Until now there has never been such a wealth of data available relating to what customers want, and how they choose to get it. Each time we launch our WordPress blog we are faced with the stark truth of our success or failure online – how many people came to read what we had to say, and how many people got in touch and bought our services as a result. This can make the world of blogging for business a tough environment, and it’s not something which appeals to everyone.
Instead of market research being conducted on street corners, or lengthy feedback forms to fill in, customers now have a rapid and effective way of communicating disappointment to their service provider – they simply go elsewhere. With the click of a mouse, a customer can show that they are not getting what they need, and this action is visible to the service provider immediately. Because of this new consumer power, customers are becoming more aware than ever before of the impact which ‘speaking with their feet’ can have on service providers, and they are making full use of this new strength.
So, what does this mean for us as bloggers? The main issue we face these days is having the understanding of customer trends and views about what we do, and amending our policies and practices accordingly. If you have seen a number of people leave your site for some reason, it’s important to analyze what your recent activities have been to see if you can’t change the trend and bring your customer base back. Take a look at what you have published, recent pricing changes, or amendments to products or services to see if you have unwittingly changed your site to make it less appealing. If you have undergone a re-brand recently, it’s important to check out your visitor metrics to make sure it’s gone down well with your customer base.
Similarly, you can track positive trends in terms of visitor numbers and purchase in the same way. If a certain post which you’ve published suddenly generates a huge amount of ‘hits’, then it’s worth analyzing this activity and identifying what it is about that particular article that did so well. By keeping ahead of our customers, and listening to the sound of their feet, we’re in a better position than ever before to track trends and offer the best possible service to meet their needs.