November 24th, 2017
Listening to your customers
1 Aug 2017 Dominic
I have been very busy recently working with a new retail client hence the lack of updates recently however as part of the work I am currently doing, I thought I would share some thoughts on one area of E-Commerce which both my new client and plenty of previous clients under invest in and one which could see them reap high rewards if they had an ongoing customer feedback strategy.
Whilst many companies invest significant sums in getting new customers, adding them to email lists and sending them out regular offers and discounts, what many do not do is enter into a 2 way dialogue on a regular basis to really find out what their customers think about their product offering or perhaps their customer service. Even large FTSE listed retailers find this can challenging.
Without listening to your customers and acknowledging the frustrations they are experiencing, how can you improve your product offer or identify the problems they may be experiencing? You should always be feeding back self improvement initiatives into your business model.
Let me give you an example – a few years back I was working with a chain of national garden centres. They had underinvested in their E-Commerce offering plus needed a bit of an overhaul of the website. One thing I wanted to understand was what kind of frustrations their customers had with the current website and what other recommendations they had which we could implement to both help customers and improve our product offering.
Over a 2 week period we ran a survey using Survey Monkey to target all site visitors who left the site and also emailed out to our full customer base. I was keen to see what came back as I had a good idea re the current frustrations on the website however what we eventually got back not only highlighted the frustrations customers were experiencing with the website (which we knew – checkout issues, bugs, membership club etc) however they also came back with invaluable suggestions – such as wondering why we did not sell certain product ranges online – which we then started looking into and eventually building a business case to get online.
In my current role I am looking at exactly this – how we start communicating with our customers and feeding back invaluable information to improve our E-Commerce offer – by using tools such as Survey Monkey regularly and improving the integration of customer services with the E-Commerce team.
To improve your business you need to be always improving – and the best way to do this is by getting it straight from your customers – these are the people who will ultimately make or break your business.
Tags: customer surveys