Employees are an integral part of any company, as are customers.
As with any strategy, customers are a large focus. How your company interacts with your customers will define your success and ability to grow. How does your firm currently interact with your customers? During the purchasing/sales process only? For the collection of payment? How often does your company communicate with your customers on a post-purchase basis?
Your customers are your greatest learning tool to get unbiased information about your company. Opportunities for improving current products or for developing new products can come directly from your interaction with your customer.
Depending on the scale of your business, your sales associates can complete a survey with customers to get feedback on the company’s and product’s performance. For larger scale firms, surveys are typically sent via email for customers to fill out as they wish.
The information received from these surveys would allow the company to better judge their own capabilities, customer demands, and find future market trends.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which can be used to reflect your customers’ viewpoint of the company would include:
1. How likely are your customers going to refer the company or product to a friend or family? (word of mouth advertising is the most economically sustainable marketing strategy).
2. What proportion of your customer have returned to make a purchase?
3. How many customer complaints have you received during the period?
Feedback from your customer can communicate to management different issues that are currently found in your company. These issues will not be limited to the sales function either. When looking at the data, you may find issues with your hiring or training practices for certain departments, failure of the Quality Assurance department on testing the final product, or lack of customer centered focus throughout the company.
Next week, I will be looking at suppliers and investors.