Getting To Know Your Customers: Look Beyond The Transaction

by Jenny on October 4, 2016 Comments Off on Getting To Know Your Customers: Look Beyond The Transaction

Jeff Bezos, CEO of, has a great quote about building relationships with customers. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little better.”

A lot of companies see value in conducting customer surveys; be it to gauge satisfaction levels or further develop a line of products. There are obviously great insights gained when asking for input from your customers on varied topics. But if you haven’t started with a formal introduction and learned about who your customers are in their daily lives, you are overstepping a vital part in creating an effective marketing or promotional campaign.

This is why, especially if you already have a group or panel of customers willing to offer their feedback, a “Getting to Know You” survey can help launch a targeted, long-term research strategy focused on understanding your customers beyond their purchase transactions. Additionally, this initial research effort will help maintain communication and foster customer loyalty. Not to mention it will help maximize your return on sales/marketing investments.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario to help better explain the value of a “Getting to Know You” survey:

Imagine yourself going on a blind date. You are confident, unique, present yourself well, and you know you have a lot of positive things to offer.

You arrive a bit early and are seated at a table awaiting your guest. While waiting you review the menu and see a few entrees that you think your guest will absolutely LOVE. Keep in mind, you’ve never met this person and know only limited information from others.

In an effort to be proactive and convey a sense of leadership you place food orders for both you and your guest based on a combination of what you personally like, and what you think your guest will like. In your mind, this is a positive gesture to show your guest that you are nurturing, and want their time with you to be easy and relaxing.

As your guest arrives you exchange pleasantries, and shortly thereafter the food arrives. You are excited to see your guest’s reaction at not only your proactive nature, but also your keen taste for fine cuisine. Instead, your guest seems surprised and confused.

Your guest politely smiles and informs you they are vegan, so the steak you ordered wasn’t such a great choice. Now things are a bit awkward, and the date becomes disjointed. Your heart was in the right place, you just didn’t achieve the results you were hoping for.

Now, flip roles and imagine yourself as the guest; arriving cautiously on a blind date only to have the other party preplan the entire meal without even a formal introduction. That would be pretty strange, right?

It seems to make much more sense spending a little time getting to know each other, and allow your guest to tell you what they like; rather than you making decisions based on assumptions.

Simple small talk can lead to interesting tidbits of information you couldn’t have already known. Through this approach, both parties can feel at ease, they get to order their own meal, and the blind date is a much more comfortable, mutually beneficial situation. This allows a true relationship to start developing built on a desire to both understand and satisfy the wants and needs of your guest.

Now, let’s jump back to business and the original premise of a “Getting to Know You” survey.

Interacting with new customers is like the blind date described above. You may know a little about a new customer, or at least you THINK you know a little about a new customer. However you could be completely wrong and order steak for a vegan. Luckily, there’s a simple way to avoid this conflict; just go ahead and ask them a bit about who they are and what they’re about. Crazy concept, I know.

This is one main benefit of a “Getting to Know You” survey; learn about your customers in their daily lives so you can provide a product or service they really want and need, instead of preemptively making decisions on their behalf based on unreliable presumptions. From there, you can strategize how your product or service fits into the daily lives of your customers, and thus offer them what all customers want; personalization and value.

Keep in mind; while this is just the first step, it is a very important one. Preemptively ordering steak for a vegan hurts your chances for a second date. Or as it relates to business a returning customer.

The information you collect up-front will not only help your business best utilize its resources when creating an advertisement or promotional campaign; it will also convey to customers a sense that your company cares about them as the individuals they are.

Having over 30 years of experience helping businesses build meaningful, lasting relationships with their customers, we at MacKenzie Corp can help ask the right questions for your distinctive company goals. We then analyze and translate the data collected from your customers, producing a powerful story about your customers and who they are in their daily lives.

Until there is data to confirm a theory, it is just that; a theory. You might be making decisions based on presumptions rather than facts. We want your business to successfully communicate with and retain loyal customers. Just like any other relationship, it starts at the beginning. A “Getting to Know You” survey is a great way to break the ice.

To wrap things up let’s revisit the quote from Jeff Bezos, “It’s our job to make the customer experience a little better.” In order to do so, you have to know a little about your customers first.


For more information, check out our Services Page or better yet give us a call. We are always happy talk research and data. It’s what we love to do, and we are pretty darn good at it.

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Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

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