I have come across an article from internet saying “customers can fire any people in the company from the CEO to Cleaner”. The author in the article added that “customers c an fire them by stop using their products and services. I have been thinking through what he said and started to realize how importance for each business to satisfy each individual customer they have. It is true that it is not possible to satisfy all groups of customers because they have different needs and different attitude toward purchasing and using products and services. However, you have to try your best as you can.
Every day, I see new products and services coming out into the market to compete with existing products. So what do you think they do to gain market share? Maybe they do as simple as by competing by price and promotions. I have seen a lot of products that introduced to the market and have spent lot money on advertising and promotions to gain market share. I noticed this has made the existing products hardly to survive if they do not have a firm strategy to defend themselves. Some businesses that do not have a firm defend strategy have ended up by a price competition. I have seen this happens a lot especially amongst small businesses. I don’t advise to compete on price since this is just a short term strategy.
There are number of strategies to not compete by price such as seeking unique product benefits, whether actual or imaginary, in order to separate the product from the crowd and communicate this to attract and retain customers but I think it is hard since our country is the importing country so it is hard to change the product benefits for just our market that is just call a small market.
Having said this, I think the best strategy to compete is by using good customer service. I learn that a satisfied customer can tell at least his family and his friends about the products and service they have good experience with but if they are not satisfied, they will talk to everybody. Remember that customers now are more demanding.
So how can we know a customer is satisfied or not? The answer is that you have to collect feedback from your customers. The feedback that you collect can be used to monitor how satisfied your customers are and key areas that you should improve in order to increase satisfaction rate. Remember that when customers are satisfied with you, they will buy more from you and even more they will refer their friends to you also. It is good to keep in mind that satisfied customers are your free advertisement. The methods that you can use to collect feedback from your customers are varied depending on the level of information you need and type of your customers. However, some methods below you can use in Cambodia:
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 and how they solve etc.
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?
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.
Focus groups are usually 8-10 people that you gather to get their impressions of a product or service or an idea.
I believe most businesses can do by themselves by collecting the data from Employees and through using the Comment Cards. It is advised to use a professional research company to collect information from Customers and by doing Focus Groups. The research company can give you the data which is not bias and they know how to design a proper survey to measure customers satisfaction and in addition they can also give you recommendations that you use to improve your business to compete in the market.
So now it’s time to differentiate from your competitors by making your customers satisfied!
By Mr. Phoung Vuthy, Managing Director of MRTS Consulting Ltd
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