A thriving business is always focused on providing excellent customer service. “The customer is always right” – a simple sentence that has become a motto which successful businesses around the world follow today. From hospitality and food to entertainment and retail, gathering and analysing data based on the views and opinions of the customers is a main priority for any good businessman. The data provided by the customer feeds the business exactly the information it needs to keep growing. The question is, what is the best way to gather this information and how exactly should it be handled?
There are many ways to survey customers in order to get their feedback, but some are much more effective than others. Fortunately, there are services out there today that provide customer evaluation services to businesses just like your own. The goal of these programs is to help you gather detailed and unbiased information about the daily operations in all of your on-site locations using a number of different methods. Experts will help you organize and analyses the data so that you can learn exactly where you need to improve in order to grow your brand and maximize your profits.
Gathering Precise Feedback isn’t Always Easy
Gathering precise and effective customer feedback is not always easy to do, but without doing so it is impossible to know where your business needs to make improvements. Some methods of collecting feedback from customers have been proven to be much more effective than others.
When you are searching for a company to help you gather data about your customers experiences, keep the following tried-but-not-so-true methods in mind and find out whether their services can offer your business something more in-depth:
- Online surveys for customers: These surveys can be conducted by customers after they have used your products or services. While this method has the potential to deliver valuable information about a customer’s experience, there are some flaws. Many people don’t have the time to remember to stop and take the survey once they get home, or they will rush through it for an offered incentive. If the survey is long, which would provide you with the most detailed information, the customer is even less likely to complete it honestly.
- Gathering feedback from employees: The people who work directly with customers on-site know more about the customers’ experiences than anyone other than the customers themselves. The flaw in this method is that the employees may not always want to share their knowledge, especially if a customer has had a bad experience. When they do share what they know, it is a biased point of view.
- Phone surveys: Today nearly everyone is too busy to waste their time on telephone surveys. Many people do not use landline phones and cannot be bothered to waste mobile phone minutes giving feedback this way.
Maintaining Excellent Operations
Maintaining excellent operations requires a combination of gathering precise evaluations of your customers and knowing how to organise and analyse the information properly in order to make effective changes. It is helpful to take advantage of the services provided by operational excellence companies who have the knowledge and expertise to work with your particular business, gathering and assimilating the data you need to keep it growing and thriving.
Mystery shopping is a very effective service that a good operational excellence company will provide for your business. Mystery shoppers are people who are scheduled to visit your on-site locations at regular intervals throughout the year and pay detailed attention to all aspects of the daily operations from a customer’s point of view. They will gather information about aspects of the business such as the quality of the products or services provided; the appearance, friendliness, and knowledge of the staff; the appearance of the location itself; wait times; whether they felt welcome back to the location; and much more.
A good operational excellence company will provide you with mystery shoppers who are knowledgeable about the particular industry that your business is in, such as foodservice, hospitality, retail, etc. The mystery shoppers should always be focused on the services, products, employees, and location and possess a keen eye for details. A good company will never send the same mystery shopper to a particular location twice.
Retail Auditing and Price Checking
Retail auditing and price checking are two services that a good operational excellence company will provide for your business. These aspects are just as important for growing your business as precise customer evaluations are.
Having regular retail audits done provides many benefits to your business, such as:
- Helping your store to meet standards compliance and in-store merchandising to drive sales;
- Consistent execution will help propel your brand forward;
- Allowing you to track the performance of multiple locations, various programs, and employees quickly and effectively;
- Being able to quickly and effectively communicate and implement new standards;
- Protecting the health and safety of your employees and customers;
- Increasing customer satisfaction.
Price checking audits will ensure that your products and/or services are always displayed at the correct price in your stores. They also give you a run-down of how your prices compare with your main competitors’ prices. In addition to competitor pricing information, regular price checking audits will also deliver other valuable information about your business, such as:
- In-depth analytics that outline pricing opportunities which help you to fill in the gaps;
- Correlation between pricing changes and sales results;
- Overall financial impact of specific pricing changes
Operational excellence companies are the key to growing your business. They provide you with all of the tools you need to gather customer evaluations along with other vital information concerning the daily operations of your business locations. Most importantly, they will organise this data and assist you with analysing it properly so that you can make the most effective changes to keep your business thriving. The world’s top companies, regardless of the industry, make the best use of these services to be sure that they never slow down.