How customer feedback can improve your sales targets

Very few frontline sales professionals, and very few companies conduct regular review meetings with their customers, and those that do, typically arrange them at the start of a new year or trading period: So this is a wonderful opportunity to steal a march on the competition, and in all probability, gain some incremental business that is not currently sitting in the pipeline.

The reality is that obtaining continual feedback against a set of established criteria is vital if an organisation is to retain its existing top clients and seek to improve its standing and the quality of its service levels to them.

Seven benefits of regular feedback.

  • Feedback reveals your customer's current and future plans.

  • Seeing your business from your customer's point of view allows you to answer the question "would you do business with you?" - if not why not?

  • Feedback allows you to tailor your service levels so that you enjoy maximum customer satisfaction at a minimum cost.

  • If you don't ask you'll never know how you are doing until it's too late. Feedback is magnified by the 'ice berg factor' making it more critical than it originally appears.

  • Feedback can reveal what your competition are doing helping you to be a consistently strong contender.

  • Gaining a reputation for wanting to hear feedback can actually make money for you.

How often?

This will depend entirely on the importance of the account and revenue levels being achieved - or anticipated.

Assessing the feedback you receive

If the feedback you have been receiving to-date has not been useful ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do I ask enough questions?

  • Do I ask the right questions?

  • Do I communicate effectively about why I am asking the questions?

  • Do I ask the right people?

  • Do I know how to use the data I collect?

  • Am organised to respond to the information?

  • Do I value and trust the information I receive?

What do you do with the results?

  • Communicate them upwards and sidewards in company, so that everyone is aware.

  • Act immediately on vital issues

  • Feedback and confirm remedial actions

  • Confirm satisfactory resolve

 

Remember that:

The Account Review Process is a non-threatening meeting and is a fact finding session, not a sales event in the short term. But it is highly likely that during this meeting you will uncover additional short, medium and long term opportunities.

What are you waiting for?

By Jonathan Farrington of AllBusiness.com
Learn more about small business issues- visit AllBusiness.com

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