Why you should be using customer feedback to change your business process

This famous adage – supposedly one that helped land Socrates in hot water – is as true for business as it is for life.

If your business loses deals and doesn’t collect data that explains why, that’s an opportunity wasted.

Before you click on, consider this: whether you’re running an internet startup or a local supermarket, gathering customer feedback is critical in driving the evolution of your business.

In fact, gathering effective customer feedback might be the most important part of your business.

As your company scales, you might find it more difficult to stay as close to customers as you once could.

Which could mean you find yourself missing out on key business.

According to Cian McLoughlin, CEO of consultancy Trinity Perspectives, customer feedback is key to discovering more about how the market perceives your product or service, your staff, your price and your competition.

Trinity Perspectives specialises in helping companies better understand why they win and lose deals and how they can use these insights to transform key areas of their business.

“Whether you’re a newly emerging company, or an established player with significant market share, few of us can afford the luxury of ignoring customer feedback and not worrying about why we’re winning and losing,” McLoughlin says.

Gathering effective customer feedback is a two-stage process, he says.

Since your team already has an existing relationship with the customer, it becomes a simple matter to have them “participate in an interview and also respond to a detailed survey about their experiences”.

But whether feedback is gathered internally or by a third party, “the survey questions mirror the key steps of the sales process, allowing the vendor to get detailed feedback about every aspect of customer engagement,” he says.

 

customer surveys

Customer surveys can help you identify ways to improve your sales process.
 

Aside from putting this into practice on a daily basis, McLoughlin wrote the book on the subject, Amazon bestseller Rebirth of the Salesman, which outlines the customer feedback process and how it can benefit businesses.

According to McLoughlin, here’s how gathering and applying customer feedback can improve your bottom line:

 

Increases revenue through an increased win rate

Data extracted from customer feedback helps pinpoint how and why businesses are losing business and can help you address these gaps quickly and effectively.

After making changes in response to customer feedback, McLoughlin argues a realistic target is up to double the current win rate over 6-12 months.

 

Reduces your cost of sale

Applying customer feedback to your sales strategy positively impacts your cost of sale in numerous ways, McLoughlin explains.

With data gathered from the customer, it’s easier to determine which areas of the business to focus on in the future, and which areas need targeting.

By analysing each deal and incorporating feedback, you can use that data to drive down your cost of sale by up to 20 per cent in a given year.

 

Reduces sales cycle length

The biggest issue for many transactions is when they get stuck in the pipeline for an extended period, says McLoughlin. “This prolongs the sales engagement, increasing the cost of sale, and reducing profitability”.

Customer feedback can help you pinpoint factors that are causing delays.

From that analysis, you can create strategies to address these issues earlier in the sales funnel.

McLoughlin believes that by acting on customer feedback, you can pull 10-15 per cent of business forward by a quarter.

The result: a significant positive impact on your bottom line.

Officeworks
 

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