Far too often, we think we know what our customers think and want because — well, we just know, that’s all. Wrong! Businesses can’t be successful if they don’t continue to meet the needs of their customers. Period. There should be few activities as important as finding out what your customers want for products and services and finding out what they think of yours. Fortunately, there are a variety of practical methods that businesses can use to feedback from customers.
The methods you choose and how you use them depend on what the type of feedback that you want from customers, for example, to find out their needs in products and services, what they think about your products and services, etc.
Your employees are usually the people who interact the most with your customers. Ask them about products and services that customers are asking for. Ask employees about what the customers complain about.
Provide brief, half-page comment cards on which they can answer basic questions such as: Were you satisfied with our services? How could we provide the perfect services? Are there any services you’d like to see that don’t exist yet?
What is your competition selling? Ask people who shop there. Many people don’t notice sales or major items in stores. Start coaching those around you to notice what’s going on with your competition.
One of the best ways to find out what customers want is to ask them. Talk to them when they visit your facility or you visit theirs.
Documentation and Records
Notice what customers are buying and not buying from you. If you already know what customers are buying, etc., then is this written down somewhere? It should be so that you don’t forget, particularly during times of stress or when trying to train personnel to help you out.
Focus groups are usually 8-10 people that you gather to get their impressions of a product or service or an idea.
Surveys by Mail
You might hate answering these things, but plenty of people don’t — and will fill our surveys especially if they get something in return. Promise them a discount if they return the completed form to your facility.
Hire students or part-time people for a few days every six months to do telephone surveys.