Customer feedback; an important tool for success

Ask a customer what they want from your company or service, and they will tell you. This morning I went to the hairdresser, and when I sat down, Shana asked me if I would like my hair trimmed. She didn’t assume chopping off two inches of length would be right for me; instead she asked me what I wanted. It’s not much different in most other businesses; companies can ask and then act on consumer answers. High ratings for customer satisfaction directly correlates to a happy, knowledgeable and friendly staff. Appreciate the staff, and collect the data to improve customer satisfaction.

Perhaps it is a good idea if a company owner becomes a customer and walks in the shoes of a consumer. Take the example of an internet shoe company. Order a pair of shoes from a competitor; observe their service, tryout their product; become involved in what you are marketing – just participating now and learning from the experience. Are their procedures better than yours, and how can you improve your company? What can you do to make the customer experience even more satisfying than your closest competitor?

Feedback from questionnaires and surveys can supply constructive information. There are well-established techniques which can lend helpful hints, ideas, and preferences. Feedback should not be limited to consumers; have employee participation since representatives dealing with customers are likely to provide important constructive contributions. Employee responses are the best resource and most reliable method to gather customer feedback. As sales and service representatives build a rapport with consumers and clients, trust builds, and it becomes a natural part of an interactive conversation.

Some companies use statistics to follow trends. This might include what products are selling best, competitive pricing, customer repeat business, and sales indications, and preferences. Statistics cannot measure if the customer is getting what they want, or if the company is delivering the product the customer wants. If you are the only game in town or the least expensive, statistical information might not be any guarantee of how well you are doing.

Analyze your direct competition, talk to their customers so you know what customers think, and never forget that we run our businesses for our customers. People want to do business with people they respect; let’s build from there.

photo credit: hi-lo

3 Responses to “Customer feedback; an important tool for success”

  1. Kathy Clark said:

    May 14, 10 at 10:01 am

    Great observations! It is easy for businesses to loose sight of what their purpose is and who ultimately pays their salaries! Focusing on the customer experience is a critical part of business growth and development. And I agree, getting out and seeing what the competition may be doing better than you can generate ideas on how to enhance the customer experience. With as quickly as things change, this should be a constant endeavor because the improvement target is always moving and successful business have learned how to stay ahead of curve.

    Good post.

  2. Monique said:

    May 18, 10 at 2:20 am

    This is a great post. Many times companies forget that great service is measured by how the customer felt they were taken care of, not how you felt you took care of the customer.
    Just like you mentioned, using surveys for feedback is an avenue for constructive feedback. The surveys also allow you to recognize any patterns in service by viewing comments from customers.

    Thank you for the reminder on how we should be customer-focused each and every day.

  3. Richard said:

    Feb 09, 11 at 10:27 am

    Another great way of collecting customer feedback at point of sale is via a touch screen kiosk. Feedback collected at point of interaction is a lot more acurate and this method is both time and cost effective.