Most people say “customers are always right”. Costumers also give business owners free yet reliable business advices. With these, many business runners try their very best to accumulate feedbacks from customers. These feedbacks are important in determining what we, as producers, traders, manufacturers and sellers will produce and sell to our consumers. But how can we get feedbacks from customers?
Getting customers’ feedbacks
1. Questionnaires and surveys. This can be done through customers’ feedback forms, telephone interview, online interview, email or direct interviews.
2. Front-line personnel. Your front-line personnel are the people who always interact with your customers. Accordingly, they can provide you reliable information on the behavior of your customers.
3. Sales statistics. Numbers talk. Your sales ratios, inventory turnover, and other financial ratios will give you a picture of your customers’ buying habit.
4. Group representative. Since not all customers have ample time to promote their rights and voices, they create groups or associations. These groups choose their representative to represent their groups. To get feedback from these associated customers, we just need to get feedbacks from their representatives.
5. Ask yourself as a customer. It’s pretty obvious, though we are entrepreneurs, business owners, producers, traders or sellers – we also consume products and services. This, we are definitely included in the customers’ realm. Ask yourself the things that you want to ask to other customers.
Now that you got what customers are saying you got to listen to them. But how will you trait those information you have obtained from your consumers? Read the following to find out how.
Using customers’ feedback
1. Analyze. Determine the actual problem. Create specific objective. Formulate a realistic solution. Below are examples for a restaurant business:
a. Actual problem: You only have 100 customers visiting your restaurants daily.
b. Specific objective: Increase your daily customers from 100 to 150.
c. Realistic solution: Conduct a one-week training on “restaurant customer service – taking care of your customers” to all your front-line staff and personnel.
2. Make a plan. Organize your objective and solution.
Simply, put them in writing and proper documentation. Set a time frame and create plan B or plan C for contingent matters.
3. Execute. This is the most important part of listening to your customers – action on what your customers want. Everything from listening feedback to analyzing to planning will be wasted if we will not execute them.
4. Follow-up. This is our evidence of constant and real care to our customers. By doing this, we are trying to say to our customers “we don’t want them to be down – we want them to have a constant guaranteed satisfaction.
Your customers are your best business advisers. They aren’t costly and mostly they are free. So why not take advantage of this? The benefit is for your customers and ultimately for your business. It’s a clear win-win scenario for you (high sales and profits) and your customers (high quality products and services). Just remember to use those feedbacks seriously by putting them not only in your mind but more importantly in your hands. DO something to effect a real change!