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8 Best Tools for Understanding Your Customers

Market Trends - November 8th, 2013 by Natalie Issa.

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Woopra Customer ProfileAs the Woopra team revs up for Dreamforce (come meet us at the show!), we started thinking about the conference’s theme for 2013: The Customer Company. What does it mean to be a customer company and how do you actually become one?

We believe that being a customer company starts with understanding your customers. From marketing, to sales, service, and product, every department needs to understand the customer and put them at the center of every decision.

To help us get going, we put together a list of our favorite tools for understanding customers.

1. SurveyMonkey

www.surveymonkey.com

Probably the most obvious way to understand your customers is by simply asking them the questions you want answered. The best way to approach this is to send surveys to targeted segments of customers, rather than simply hosing your entire customer base with the same survey. For example, you might want to send a different survey to customers in each tier of packages as they will likely have different needs (e.g. a large corporation vs. an agency vs. a small business).

SurveyMonkey is a great tool for doing this. It has a lot of options that are there if you want them, but not in the way if you don’t. It’s easy to get started, allows you to implement custom branding for your surveys, and includes reporting (we love reporting at Woopra).

While surveys will certainly help you gain insight into customer wants, be aware that sometimes customers’ words don’t tell the whole story. You may need to look at other factors, such as what customers say with their time and money.

2. Salesforce.com

www.salesforce.com

Salesforce is one of the world’s leading CRMs, and for good reason. The platform is highly customizable and, more importantly, has perhaps the largest ecosystem of any CRM. Salesforce.com’s AppExchange has 2,034 apps to date. That’s a lot of apps.

We use Salesforce here at Woopra and find it truly indispensable for our sales team. Having a central place to keep customer and prospect records builds the foundation for organized sales and marketing efforts.

Salesforce AppExchange Stats

3. LinkedIn

www.linkedin.com

If you’re a B2B company, you spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. The social network is like an encyclopedia of every company and working professional. It’s a great source of information. We use LinkedIn in two ways:

  1. We look up customer and prospect profiles to understand their backgrounds, interests, and current positions.
  2. We participate in and monitor LinkedIn groups that are relevant to our target markets. This is a great way to get insight into what needs and interests your potential customers have.

4. Rapportive

www.rapportive.com

This tool gives you information about contacts directly within Gmail. It literally couldn’t be easier to use and that is one of the main reasons we love it. Rapportive was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, making it the second LinkedIn company on our list.

Rapportive Screenshot

5. Rapleaf

www.rapleaf.com

Give Rapleaf an email address, and Rapleaf will give you a mountain of data. The tool will tell you information like a person’s age, gender, household income, marital status and more. It can even give you information about a person’s interests and types of purchases. Consumer companies can use this information to more deeply understand the demographics and interests of their customer base. Woopra has even built an integration with Rapleaf, allowing you to enrich the data you use to analyze customer behavior and target actions.

6. InsideView

www.insideview.com

InsideView is a great way to be alerted of major changes in a company, such as new leadership, product launches, earnings reports, and more. For B2B companies, this means you will know when there is an opportunity or threat to prospective or current customer accounts. InsideView also has a Salesforce integration, making this information easily available to sales teams.

7. BuiltWith

www.builtwith.com

This one is especially useful in the tech industry. Understanding your customers in this industry means knowing what tools they’re already using. By simply entering a URL on BuiltWith’s website, you will receive a full report of all the tools being used on that website. For example, check out the report on woopra.com.

8. Woopra

www.woopra.com

Of course our list wouldn’t be complete without Woopra! Your customers tell you every day what they want with their behavior and Woopra enables you to listen to what they’re saying, and act on it. Our entire team uses Woopra every single day and would truly feel blind without it.

Woopra Customer Profile

And that’s our list! We love learning about new tools, so please share any additions in the comments below.

Want to learn more about how to become a “Customer Company”? Join the Customer Engagement group on Chatter!

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