The Value of Customer Feedback – how market research can help your business

Customer feedback is so important. Even if you feel you have a good understanding of what your customers need and want, make sure you keep an up-to-date view as we live in a dynamic world with rapidly changing trends and demands. If you’re not able to move with the market, you leave the door open to your competitors. Not only could you fail to reach your full potential, but you may see a decline in your existing business. Whether you’re selling products or services, customer feedback can give you a strong USP (unique selling point), give you a competitive edge and increase your customer base.  Market research is the way to go! Here’s how it can help you.

Identify Areas for Improvement

Companies will often have fast-moving products or popular services which sell well, but will inevitably have others which don’t seem to appeal to your customers so much. Customer feedback can help you identify problem areas to improve sales of these products, such as:

  • A poor match between your product specification and your customer requirements – the product or service may seem ideal to you, but by missing a few key customer requirements you may significantly narrow your target audience.
  • Incorrect pricing – pricing too low can be as bad as pricing too high as you de-value your offering.
  • Gaps within your offering – is your customer looking for a one-stop shop to include items you don’t currently offer? If you don’t offer these items but competitors do then they become more attractive.
  • A Difficult Customer Experience – how easy is it for your customer to buy from you, receive and use your product? Or, how easy is it to work with you if you offer a service? Is the process clear up front and are communications levels good?

By asking the right questions openly you can identify and address any weaknesses or customer pain points which may not have been apparent to you.

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Increase Word of Mouth

By understanding your customers’ expectations, you can find ways to provide a better experience than they had expected and delight them. Not only will happy customers return to your business as loyal customers, but they will often recommend you to their family and friends, helping you to increase your brand reputation and customer base. More customers means more revenue! Word of mouth is free marketing!

Leverage the Good Bits!

There will no doubt be lots which you’re doing really well!  You might have the best product since sliced bread, the best team in the world, the most engaging website or the most eye-catching packaging. Knowing which aspects your customers love and why will help you know what you need to highlight and put more emphasis on in your marketing materials. These are the parts which help define your business and need leveraging further. They can also help you attract business for the other products and services which aren’t selling so well.

Hearing from customers can give you some kind words which you can use as testimonials and may also bring your business to the front of their minds for a visit sooner than expected!

Ensure Correct Market Positioning

Many companies discuss the features and benefits of their products and services, but make sure you remember to highlight your value proposition. This is where you drill down and highlight what you’re offering means to your customer and identify the value you bring to them. You’re looking for a value which resonates with them and which makes it hard to resist what your business offers. 

For example, a feature of a house cleaner is likely to be that they can do the dusting, ironing and vacuuming. The benefits of that is that the home owners don’t need to do those activities. Whilst that would be quite nice, they’re not usually difficult activities so why pay someone else to do it? Well, the value proposition the cleaner has is that by hiring them for three hours a week to take on those household chores, you get to spend an extra 3 hours a week with your family – SOLD!

Provide a Competitive Edge

By understanding what your customers need it enables you to provide the best portfolio ahead of your competitors and gain a competitive edge. This may be by addressing areas for improvement, introducing a new product or service into your offering, or by adjusting how you position your business. 

It’s worth noting that different customers will have different requirements or reasons for selecting the same service. With the example of the example of the house cleaner that value proposition may apply to a working couple with a family, but to a single person who is away on business a lot it may be as simple as not having the time whilst also being house-proud and wanting everything to be perfect when they return home.

Make sure you tailor your marketing message to your target audience. 

New customers can be hard to get, and retaining their loyalty once you have them is just as important. Continuous learning by listening to your customers will help guide your marketing strategy and shape your offering to ultimately help you grow your business and thrive!

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of marketing materials and the promotion of your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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