You can make higher profits AND create an awesome customer retention machine.
Just by asking customers 5 simple questions (And of course, writing down, sorting, trending, and analyzing what you find out).
Since I was converted to the indispensable benefits of constantly talking to customers back in 2004, I’ve discovered that this feedback is like gold.
How so? There are four keys:
1) Do it consistently
2) Do it personally (over the telephone)
3) Keep the conversation under 4 minutes
4) Ask the right questions
How do these keys produce the “gold”? They produce a constant feedback loop that improves retention, identifies process flaws, and identifies the parts of the process that matter most to the customer.
The loop leads to big savings in operating and marketing costs, especially relative to the cost of the loop – that’s the gold.
I know it’s gold because we had the chance to prove it in a “real life” situation with my previous company (a Cable TV operation).
And in that company, when the loop was working at a high level of “gold production”, we were able to use it to save several million dollars a year, producing an 800% return on the loop investment. The savings came from all three key elements:
1) We improved retention by 25%
2) We made significant process improvements that saved thousands of “truck rolls”
3) We stopped spending money on things we THOUGHT were important to the customer (especially in our Call Center)
But the best part was this: Our customer satisfaction continued to go up (we used the Net Promoter Score), even though we were spending less money to push it upward.
At this point, you might be thinking, “wow, those must have been some magic questions you were asking!”
Well, they really weren’t.
We kept it pretty simple – 5 questions, ones that could be modified as we went along.
They revolved around 5 elements:
1) The experience with the product or service
2) The experience with the people behind the product or service
3) The overall brand and company experience (the Net Promoter Score)
4) Feedback that would make the experience better
5) Identification of things of less importance to the customer
There was also a bonus element that really wasn’t a question – “Thank You For Your Business”
How a business crafts the questions based on these elements is critical, and if you are thinking about how using the loop can produce gold in your business, it’s worthy of a LOT of thought.
Because if you can put the questions out there in the right way, it can transform your business, and put a turbocharge in your profits.
And produce a pretty snazzy ROI you can tell your boss about, or your investors, or both.
Just pick up the phone, and dial. Or have someone else you trust do it (It’s part of our consulting practice, for example). Trust is big because the callers must represent themselves as working for the company – that keeps the call as a “conversation“, and not a “survey“.
Yes, they say talk is cheap, but in this case, I respectfully (and factually) disagree.