Talking to customers is important. So is listening. The better understanding you have of your customer’s world, the better decisions you can make around just about everything.

Think about the last decision you made around a piece of messaging. Who wrote the copy? Did you know if it would resonate with customers? What if you could validate it with customer feedback? What if the copy itself came directly from customer feedback?

Leela Srinivasan, CMO of SurveyMonkey, gives a master class in the benefits of customer feedback. She says marketing is all about proximity to customers. She encourages marketers to think of customer feedback as the ultimate in data enrichment.

Use customer feedback to inform your biggest messaging decisions. Leverage customer feedback for surprise and delight. Listen closely for specific details — that’s how to surprise and delight later on. Turn customer feedback into attention-getting, lead-generating content. Use customer feedback to make better decisions around pricing and packaging.

“I’ve used customer feedback, basically, as a really important input into how we’re thinking about packaging and pricing. So designing packages from scratch, based on individuals’ willingness to pay for certain features, to running qualitative research with decision makers, and having them react in real time to different price points, using Van Westendorp and all these other conventions to just try and make sure we have as much input as possible in that final price. Because you can really kind of shoot yourself in the foot if you go to market with something that doesn’t have quite the features set in place that people will pay for, or that it is just priced incorrectly.”

Qualitative input from customers can help you make better marketing decisions across the board. It can help you create what Leela calls a “virtuous customer acquisition cycle” and amass a following of devoted fans.

Even the smartest marketers in the world can’t do it on their own. You need to listen to your customers and use their feedback to help you workshop your ideas. At minimum, they’ll tell you what is and isn’t working. And on a good day, they’ll be the ones making decisions for you and giving you great ideas.

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