Competitive intelligence separates failing businesses from thriving ones. If you’re in retail and you don’t know what’s happening in your stores and in your competitor’s, you’re placed at a strong disadvantage. It’s probably safe to assume that your company is not staying on top of customer experience and your supply chain strictly because you lack training. The solution is to either get trained or to outsource the job to a third party. There are many affordable providers these days that are probably less expensive than trying to do it in-house.
Why Analyze Metrics?
Analyzing metrics is not just an academic effort. The results you get from customer metrics can help inform your decisions about product development, procurement, marketing, and support. Metrics can really smooth out rough edges in your business. If you aren’t even asking for feedback and then acting on it, how can you be sure that your customers are acting in the ways you expect? The only way to bring cohesion to your operation is through tracking and monitoring. Your employees get strong at doing their jobs as well. Feedback is the mechanism that improves every aspect of a business.
Always Know What Your Customers Think
Feedback is one way to gain knowledge of what your customers think and feel about your products. Another method is to employ mystery shopping services. Mystery shoppers can visit your store and those of your competitors to get a close-up view of what’s going on. They can help you set prices and they can see how good your service is. You’ll get a rating when they’re done that gives you a glimpse into how your operations are performing. At that point, you’ll have a great idea of what tweaks to make. Successful business is always a matter of incorporating changes based on real world performance.
How Does Improving the Supply Chain Help?
Improving your supply chain from feedback and mystery shoppers helps you increase sales and profits. You’ll also experience the added benefit of retaining more customers. The lifetime value of your customers increases naturally when you improve customer experience. They will have very short lifetimes indeed if they are poached by competitors during their prime. Protecting your customer base while growing it can be done by any motivated company who places the correct systems into service. Some do this with in-house operations and others go ahead and outsource the job to specialist consultancies.
Deciding to Bring Customer Experience Management In-House
If you have a smart IT team with workers who have free time, you can do this in-house. If your sales are low and you haven’t cut your headcount, then doing itself is an option. If you’re pretty busy and you can’t afford to have your workers embark on a new project, then move your business to a third-party provider. This is what they do all day. They are experts in implementing customer experience and secret shopper services. Go with them to make sure your campaign is well-designed and effective from day one. Your job then is reviewing reports and deciding whether to implement changes as they suggest them. You only pay the cost you agreed to, and your employees are free to do their normal duties. Your employees also benefit from better training and timely suggestions to improve your service.
The Value of Outsourcing Feedback Gathering and Monitoring
Outsourcing is always a way to save money. The key to use outsourcing is to decide a method that means you make enough from their services in extra revenue to easily pay for their service. You can do that by determining their charges and what amount of revenue they’ll have to drive to make their service worthwhile. Most companies in this space know that’s how you’ll be purchasing their service. They are ready to make you money right away. The reality is that if your supply chain and feedback have not been automated, there’s no chance to not make more money.
Adopting the Right Mind-set
Feedback helps you set the right mind-set as a company. Feedback helps get your customers on the same page as your workers. The main thing that has to change from a corporate level is that the leadership needs to want to collect and analyze this data at all times. When they bring in a third party, employees understand this is an important initiative. They’ll pay attention to the reports and it will give managers a focal point for their weekly meetings. Any employees who are falling below defined metrics can receive additional training to bring them up to speed. This type of system is fair to all involved. As your workers and customers start to sync up with a new feedback-oriented system, all of your processes will get smoother. The world climate for business is always getting tougher. History shows that companies who embrace technological solutions tend to outperform those that try to hold on to outmoded ways of doing business. Your employees want to do a good job. They know what happens when a company loses money. Give them the resources to perform at a high level and expect them to deliver every day. Demand excellence from all of them. Let your customers know that you are demanding this from your company and tell them to let you know when you’ve screwed up. They will be happy to tell you when something goes wrong. Don’t sit on the feedback. Act at once and plug those holes. If you don’t, customers are going to slip through your fingers. Getting advice from the very people you’re trying to please is the best way of all to continue to grow. Never take anything for granted, even if it seems like a trivial detail. Your partner in the customer experience will give you a lot of tips and guidelines to follow that will really improve your business. Get started as quick as possible because your competitors are already doing this. Don’t delay or you’ll fall way behind in the race towards market leadership. There’s still time to improve and gain more customers.