A recent retail study by ForeSee Results points to a key error being made by retailers during the down economy. Their finding that retailers were acting without solid customer feedback — by assuming that price was the key competitive factor — was leading to erosion of revenues where price cutting wasn’t required.
More than anything, this points to the fact that customer feedback — in a highly actionable form — is no longer an option for companies in their business infrastructure. The “expert” input of customers (who knows your customers better than themselves) is a mandatory part of your company’s decision making processes.
The dangers of not leaning on customer feedback are obvious — take the tendency to get into pricing wars during a down economy — where some customers are more concerned about getting a clear perception of value rather than simply getting the lowest price. All this confirms that if customer feedback systems can deliver actionable data to the right members of your team, it can play a key role in maintaining growth during challenging economic times.
A recent post on the 1 to 1 Media blog points to IVR experience as a key factor in customer satisfaction. Aside with the frequency with which customers interact with IVRs, they are often poorly conceived with limited customer input (more focused on internal company process requirements). Companies we work with expressed surprise that IVR systems could play such a significant role in their customer relationships — again pointing to the importance of end-to-end timely and actionable customer feedback across the entire range of interactions between companies and their customers.