Businesses like Zappos and Amazon have set the bar high for customer-centricity. Are you an entrepreneur wondering how to match the big guys in customer focus? Have you spent thousands of dollars for setting up a customer survey exercise to understand what customers really want? And has that left you with no better understanding than you had previously?
Well, you are not alone. Every post-2000 marketer has been obsessed with finding the answer to what customers really want. Gone are the days when big market research companies used to deliver the answers at the end of a fat and dusty survey exercise.
Today the customers are openly and communicating honestly about what they want. Do you have an eye on your customer touch points and an ear on your social media? Let us break down into simple actions how we can answer this question of what customers really want.
1. Fast and Rich Feedback Mechanism
Gone are the days when ‘feedback’ used to mean a dusty register where the disgruntled customers would write volumes. Today collecting feedback via an online form is as easy as snapping your fingers. At the end of every retail experience, be it online or offline, we can collect feedback immediately from the customers.
Easy feedback registering software applications can be integrated into our online and offline retail systems. A simple form to fill on a mobile or a tablet and you get relevant and timely feedback on your product or service. This is more reliable data compared to surveys done on segmented customer bases, as there will be no loss of time between the retail experience and its reporting.
2. Relevant Data Interpretation
It is not enough to just collect the relevant feedback at the right time. The feedback needs to be interpreted in a way that makes sense. It needs to be collated and integrated back into the system as action points.
Does it make sense to keep changing your product based on bad reviews? It sure is an expensive reaction. Analyze the feedback by segmenting it. Is there one product or part of the customer experience generating the bad feedback? Are the bad reviews coming from any region which points to a local delivery problem? For you to be able to interpret feedback meaningfully, it is essential to set the feedback reporting in a meaningful structure. Feedback collecting forms and applications allow you to set a reporting structure, complete with escalation and delegation levels. Reports and alerts can be triggered to reach the right people in your company. This meaningful interpretation of feedback makes it actionable and therefore very valuable.
3. Focus and Action
An easy to gather and well-interpreted feedback system provides valuable inputs to the business. Once the feedback report points to areas that demand closer inspection of product or process, 3 steps must be performed.
Your first step should be to acknowledge the customers who have come up with the honest feedback and thank them for their inputs. The second step should be to action an inquiry into the areas highlighted by the feedback report. Final step would be to action the improvements required. The final step may be easier if it is only a matter of changing process or service improvement. However, if the final step involves changing the product itself, it may need to be thought through and actioned in phases.
You don’t have to be a mind reader to know what customers want. All you need is an intelligent feedback collection system that easily collects and intelligently interprets the customer feedback. The customers are yelling out their desires, are you listening?
About the Author
Deborah Tayloe is a freelance digital content writer. She frequently contributes to EmailMeForm. With over 25 years of both B2B and B2C customer service, marketing, and sales management experience, she loves sharing customer service tips with businesses.