In today’s unpredictable marketing climate, many business owners are riding the waves of our recent economic tides by focusing their attention on the customer. Thoughtful customer feedback is one of the most valuable sources of information to consider for informed marketing decisions. However, eliciting informative customer feedback is sometimes easier said than done. After customers purchase and use your product, few will be bothered to fill out a survey or comment card and return it to you via mail. Many dislike the interruption and inconvenience of telephone solicitations. Today’s marketing professionals are challenged to search for innovative and non-intrusive methods of eliciting helpful customer responses.
1. Let the technology of the worldwide web work for you.
Create a section of your website dedicated to customer feedback. Include online surveys, a question and comment feature, and even an interactive message board, depending on your specific goals. On your packaging and advertising materials, provide a link to this portion of your website.
2. For more detailed feedback, consider hiring a market research firm.
Marketing research professionals know how to elicit practical ideas, opinions, and feedback from customers. Marketing research often involves sending samples of your product to targeted potential customers and obtaining useful comments and reviews.
3. Consider the observations of others who interact with your customers.
Talk to the buyers who purchase your products and distribute them in the market. Interview your employees who interact the most with clients. Ask what customers complain about and what they like about your products.
4. Watch the competition.
Pay attention to the marketing techniques utilized by your major competitors. Train others in your marketing team to do the same. Hang around when shoppers are browsing through your competitors’ products and listen to their observations, questions, and concerns.
5. Documentation and Data Analysis
Keep detailed records of purchases. What are customers buying and what are they ignoring? Notice trends in purchasing patterns due to seasonal changes, economic trends, and other relevant influences.
Today’s marketing climate presents business owners with unique struggles as well as unique opportunities. Among the many challenges and demands that today’s marketers face, few are as important and informative as finding out what your customers want and finding out how well your products meet their expectations. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods proven effective in prompting customers to provide this essential marketing information.