Ed Farley: What Do Your Customers Think?
Friday, March 20th, 2015
How many times do you hear companies brag that they are…world-class ….have top-rated products! How often do we hear the claims of an incredible sales force! The best customer service!
Are these claims true? How do they know? How do you know?
The chances are there are no facts to back-up or prove these claims. More importantly, most executives have no idea what their customers “really feel about their company”. Marketing hype vs reality?
The most powerful tool is knowledge. It is vital in this competitive world for a company executive to have first- hand knowledge of what his customer thinks as well as having a plan in place to fix what is, indeed, broken. Spending the time and money to do the market research with current and former customers will ensure that your company is not falsely living the ‘marketing dream’. Market research and definitive analysis will give you the answers. Targeted Market research is only valuable if it looks at current and former customers, getting their honest feedback, both positive and negative. The truth can hurt but not knowing the truth can hurt….a lot more.
There are approximately fifteen customer facing indicators that measure on two scales; howimportantthey are to the customer and how the customer feels the company performs.
Knowing how your customer feels about the degree of satisfaction they have with the ‘indicators’ and how important they are to your customer will give you the knowledge and where to place resources to fix the most critical issues. Your capital used to fix the issues needs to be pinpointed on the customer identified critical issues and fixed fast.
Having poor customer facing issues end up costing you profit. Sales and marketing teams do not want to lose revenue(sales) so they cut the product price to maintain the business. You can directly relate service issues to profit loss.
Aside from reducing prices to maintain business, companies often suffer from poor customer service, late shipments, product outages, product defects, inaccurate billing or a combination of some of the above. These are but a few of the customer facing indicators that lead your sales team to reduce the price to ‘keep the order’.
This solution does not address the problem. The issue is not that the product is too high-priced, the issue is the service around the product is unsatisfactory.
The solution is to fix the service NOT cut the price. Implementing short term solutions will eventually send your customer to your competitor. An ongoing analysis of what your customer sees as the issue(s) coupled with an aggressive ‘fix plan’ will get you to the point of saying “we are the best”.
Power is knowledge and knowledge of your best and worst attributes can help you build solutions into your sales and operating strategy.
Reach out to Ed at: EdFarley@EdFarleyAssociates.com