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Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 1st September 2010, 10:38
by admin
By Eric Garner

When you have accurate, balanced and worthwhile information from your customers, you put yourself ahead of your competition in the marketing stakes. Here are 6 ways to get this information.

1. Ask Them. The simplest way to find out what people want from your service or product is to ask them. That's what the hairdresser does when he says, "How would you like your hair, sir?". The trouble is, most service-providers assume they know what people want. When hotel customers are asked what they want for their breakfast and then the waiting and catering staff are asked what they think the customer wants, the answers are invariably different. Always ask and act on the answers.

2. Be Your Own Customer. One of the most obvious but underused ways to find out what your customers experience when they use your service is to be a customer yourself. You can do this by walking the customer journey one step at a time and seeing things through your customer's eyes. You can even act as one of a special group of customers - such as a person in a wheelchair, or someone whose first language is not English - and see how you're treated.

3. Focus Groups. Focus groups are representatives of customers whose job is to provide you with information on their needs and preferences. When Selfridges Food Hall in London's West End used a focus group to review their customer needs, they discovered that they had three different types of customer: locals who wanted personal attention; after-work shoppers who wanted convenience; and tourists who wanted something special.

4. Questionnaires and Surveys. Getting customers to put their thoughts in writing on a questionnaire or survey is one of the most well-established feedback techniques. That's because, when well-conducted, it works. When Volkswagen designed the new Bug, they sent their existing customers a detailed survey saying, "We want you! Your ideas, preferences, and constructive contributions will be evaluated and fed into the development process. So tell us about your impressions and ideas for the new Beetle. We'll do our best!" The result? Air-conditioning as standard and optional lighters and ashtrays. Who would have guessed?

5. Usage Statistics. The most important current information on whether your customers are satisfied with your service or not is whether they continue to buy from you or use you. However, while information on sales may be an accurate indicator of how well you are doing at present, it is no guarantee that you are delivering the product or service that the customer really wants. It may be that you are at present the only supplier in the market, or that you are the cheapest or the most convenient.

6. Your Front-Line Staff. Your front-line staff are the most resourceful and reliable, as well as the least costly, of your customer feedback sources. Front-line staff should be encouraged to build strong relationships with customers so that they feel free to share how they feel about the service. It is then for front-line staff to feed back important information for improving customer care and for managers to make use of what they tell them. There is also a value in looking after front-line staff. The supermarket chain, Sainsbury's, discovered a direct connection between customer satisfaction levels and front-line staff satisfaction levels. Each year it carries out customer surveys and staff surveys. Those stores where customer satisfaction is high are invariably the same stores where staff satisfaction is high.

You may deliver the best service in the world. But if it is not what people want, you're wasting your time. Implement one, two, three or all of the above techniques, and your service and product will improve overnight.

(c) Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com

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Eric Garner is Managing Director of ManageTrainLearn. He is a graduate of Cambridge University (England) and has years of experience as a manager, trainer, and learner. Visit http://www.managetrainlearn.com to download free training software and to sign up for the free MTL newsletter, "The Resourceful Trainer".

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 21:01
by Umupondo
Dear Admin,

Upon reading this post I couldn't help but wonder if at any given time you've considered any of the points suggested in the article below. Particularly point numbers 1,4 and 6.

To simply this, consider Dear Zambia as your business and us (the contributors or bloggers) as your faithful customers.

What is your opinion?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 21:41
by Vawaka
Umupondo

Please consider me as you best friend because I’m going to help you save some money. The rest of us contributors here are not customers, so if Admin has been charging you a fee all along, you been scammed, my dear. Stop paying and try to just log in for free, you’ll see.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:00
by Umupondo
Vawaka, even if there was a law that says I should start PAYING FOR THE AIR I BREATHE, I 'd probably die before I shell out a single ngwee...rebased or not. It will never happen. Underline that my friend.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:06
by Vawaka
Umupondo

Understood. I'm glad to know that you are already aware that both you and me and everyone else here at DZ are freeloaders, not customers.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:15
by Umupondo
Oh boy, here we go again.

Vawaka, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor by finding a dictionary and looking up the word 'analogy' because am not going to explain myself like I normally would. Agreed?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:32
by Vawaka
Umupondo

I hope you don’t mind my saying that your request to the Admin is analogous of a squatter. A person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right, or payment of rent. In other words, a person who wants something for nothing.

If you want to be treated like a customer, you should be willing to pay for it. That’s all I’m saying. With all due respect.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:37
by Umupondo
Did you or did you not refer to the dictionary? I have a strong suspicion that you and I are perhaps NOT on the same planet. What is it about my point that you DID NOT understand?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 22:59
by Vawaka
Umupondo

I have a strong suspicion of my own. And this is, you have put a mental block on your brain, not to understand my point. I think if you removed that blockade, you would understand my point.

On the other hand, my life will not change whether you understand my point or not. So I think the best thing we can do at this juncture is to let you wait for your customer status. Otherwise we could be spinning wheels up in here until the cock crows. Is that fair?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 13th February 2013, 23:25
by Umupondo
You're most likely accurate about the "mental block" suspicion. See, I usually assume that we're all beyond grade school level and can easily discern any simple (non-complicated) analogy. Alas, am wrong yet again. Please forgive me.

For the record, I don't anticipate a response on my "customer status". But I nonetheless appreciate your indulgence on this here thread. May you now please go on about your life as it were. And yes, what's fair remains fair. Thanks Vawakaflaka.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 00:00
by Vawaka
Umupondo

I agree with you on the "we're all beyond grade school level" and that is why I'm very confident that unlike pre-grade school kids, neither you nor I will be the least bit fazed by the other's comments. Be it customer comments, or dictionary or grade level or what-have-you.

I'm not the Admin, so I'm really powerless. But if were, I'd bestow upon you the honorary customer status. Just for the heck of it.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 00:04
by Vawaka
Umupondo

How rude of me. I didn’t even notice the clock to see that it is already Valentine’s day. Please accept my Valentine greetings. Again, just for the heck of it.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 00:58
by Umupondo
Vawaka, don't take this the wrong way but what man wishes another man a happy Valetine's day? I apologise if I mistakenly took your macho approach to this topic for a guy. Please clarify this for me will ya?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 01:18
by Slumdog Shalapungu
Admin you need to teach zambian staff some customer service especially the chaps in that samsung store at arcades. I don't even know why they get paid because when I walked in their when coming from kuma farm in my tropicals they were rude and nonchalant to me . I had to ponta and drop some big words to get them in line

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 01:30
by Umupondo
My personal experiences with Zambian customer services staff from hell are just too many. Like most if you, I had my fair share of grief when I visited the RATSA offices on lumumba rd. I don't know how different things are now, but those vima clerks needed to be enrolled in an accelerated customer service 101 class. I almost choked the living hell out of one of those fools.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 01:33
by Vawaka
Umupondo

I beg you forgive my blindness. I really tried to look and see if you had ID’d yourself by gender. I failed. And that is precisely why at the end of my nice Valentine greeting to you, I added the phrase “just for the heck of it.” Just in case your ego was bruised by this very girly of Holidays.

In case you want to know, I work with some very macho guys who don’t give a damn who wishes them happy Valentine’s day. Again, speaking only about my place of work (not anywhere else) most men who are comfortable with their machismo, don’t pay attention to girly gestures directed at them.

I realize every nook and cranny have their own sub-culture. Maybe if a guy wishes another guy happy Valentine’s day in some other nook, it's enough to earn a black eye. Fortunately, we are online here. Yes?

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 01:50
by Umupondo
Sorry MAN. I don't do men, never have, never will not even if you were the last being on this here earth. It will NEVER happen. Let's just be very clear on that shall we? How did you try to look and see if I had ID'd myself by gender? What the hell? So, you thought...I was some fruity pebble?
GTFOH.
Honestly, I could careless if you and your "cute" buddies cuddle/snuggle/smurk at each other while whispering sweet nothings in each others' wax filled hairy ass ears. I don't care who you work with and/or what you all do and don't do. Keep those sweet nothing secret pleasures among yourselves, please!

See, you about to push that damn button now, you still can get your left eye blackened. Don't test me! And how the hell we get off topic any damn way????

*CUSTOMER SERVICE*

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 01:55
by Vawaka
Umupondo

That's exactly what I meant when I said different nooks and crannies have different sub-cultures. In some nooks I see, one mention of Valentine's and some men be talking about not doing other men and never ever. As if they just heard a proposal for marriage. But this is what makes the world so interesting. Different points of view.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 02:08
by Umupondo
Vawaka.
What is it you want...really? Are you that lonely that carrying on a conversation with a total stranger is perhaps fun? You're clearly sounding off those lonely and depressed bells. What's with your apparent obsession with these "nooks and crannies" kanshi? Am really trying to give you the benefit of doubt but this homo sh*t ain't cutting it man. It ain't!!!! You're waaaaaay off topic.

I have just told you off in the most humble way and if you knew anything about how I tend to fly off the handle with this kind of crap, you'd be thanking me right now. Enough with your gay sh*t. I ain't with it. Stop it already. Clearly, you're on the a wrong forum buddy.

Re: Customer Feedback Techniques

PostPosted: 14th February 2013, 02:16
by Vawaka
Umupondo

Now I know you must be joking because you cannot possibly be serious with that question. You have responded to each and every one of my posts. So as I see it, we are even. And this is where I see the joke. You asking me what I want. As if I could not ask you exactly the same question.

Oh, I almost forgot. ha ha ha. Sorry for the belated laughter at your joke.