Customer feedback

Often the most interesting and useful customer feedback doesn’t come from Sales or Marketing. It comes from functions that deal directly with the customer such as Customer Services, Logistics and Finance. I always ask people in these functions what customers are saying and often get some amazing information that by its very nature Sales and Marketing would have no way of capturing. For example the customer whose main reason for using one supplier was the way that they invoiced. (It fitted in well with their own internal systems.)  This knowledge stopped the supplier changing their invoicing system.

Then there was the customer who didn’t like the way that boxes were opened by the supplier before they sent them to the customer. The customer thought that because the box had been opened they contained faulty products. The supplier thought they were providing a valuable service by opening and testing every product before they shipped it, but they had never told the customers what they were doing or why. In both of these two real examples the customers had told people in their suppliers company about these things before but the staff in Logistics and Finance didn’t know who to tell or, that this type of information was important.

So my recommendation is to ask staff at all the main customer touch points what they are hearing. I’m sure that you will be surprised by what you discover.

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