You’ve probably noticed that more and more companies are interested in your opinions lately. What a concept! Have you noticed, for example, that a lot more store receipts and restaurant checks have customer feedback surveys? Ever wonder why? More importantly, have you ever taken one?
These are extremely competitive times, which is why so many businesses want to know what their customers are saying. IT may be hard to believe, but some businesses are just barely getting by, always struggling to stay afloat. They obviously want answers to how they can improve themselves and their business, and some of these answers are so obvious they could trip over them. What does this mean?
Only that the hundreds, or even thousands, of customers with whom they come into contact on a daily basis could give them the best feedback they could have, and they might not even appreciate this fact. For the past several years now, I have been involved with a number of customer relationship management (CRM) projects with many different clients.
My bigger clients usually have a lot of money to play around with big CRM projects, but surprisingly enough, it’s usually my smaller or midsized customers that mint me the biggest returns. Asking for customer feedback has been a vital part of such CRMs, and it’s one of the easiest things any business owner, manager or even salesperson could do.
One very simple way to implement such a program is by putting your phone number, website or email address on your sales receipts. You can, of course, think bigger and do the same thing with your product packaging and ad campaigns, but either way, the most important thing you want to accomplish is to know how you can improve the customer experience. What are some of the ways you can do this?
One is to ask your customers how you can improve their shopping experience. Another is to ask whether the customer would recommend your business to friends or family members. You will soon receive feedback that you will be able to analyze and even use to improve both your business and your customers’ experience with your business. What sort of responses could you expect?
Some customers might suggest lowering your prices or giving away free stuff. You may or may not choose to implement these suggestions. Some customers might suggest that it would be nice if you stayed open longer or opened an hour earlier on a particular day.
As I wrote this article, I was reminded of the old adage that there is a reason why we were born with two ears and only one mouth. I think this saying definitely holds true when it comes to CRMs. The most successful businesses spend more time listening to the needs and wants of their customers than they do talking or complaining about how to get more customers.