The Conversation

Caveman

Cavemen used a club over the head

  • No conversation, they took what they wanted. A forceful, singular message

Early agrarian societies bartered for goods and services

  • An exchange presumably satisfying the needs of each party

Then currency entered the picture

  • No sheep necessary, just fork over the ducats

Promotions and discounts replaced bartering

  • As for that club over the head – it was replaced with advertising and marketing

Since the dawn of time, businesses have been created to satisfy consumer needs and desires which were:

  • Unrealized
  • Unmet
  • Unfulfilled

Satisfy consumers better than the competition – or tap into a consumer need or desire which no other company satisfies – and your business will boom. Fail to do so, fail to remain in sync with your consumers’ needs and wants, their wishes and desires… and you will eventually perish. It all begins and ends with the consumer.

But do you truly know what your consumers want?

How effectively do you communicate with them?

  • Not talking at them through your sales pitches and promotions
  • Not surveying them in static ways, long after the point of purchase
  • Not parsing trends from disparate social media sources
  • Not extrapolating meaning from ‘focus groups’

Instead – how effectively do you:

  • – Ask
    – Engage
    – Reward

We’re not talking about ‘measuring customer satisfaction’.

And we’re not talking about having them ‘like’ you on Facebook

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We’re talking about gaining insight into the hearts and minds of your consumers. Meaningful, unfiltered, instant, actionable insight into what they want and if they will return. Sure… you could look at bottom-line performance data and attempt to interpret meaning:

  • Sales are increasing for this item, let’s increase inventory
  • Revenue remains down for this store, let’s downsize personnel
  • Sales are lagging at this location, let’s change the product mix
  • Repeat business isn’t tracking, let’s run a promotion

etc, etc, etc.

 

But numbers don’t tell the whole story. In fact, they don’t even scratch the surface of understanding.

The conversation with consumers is fraught with peril.  It’s unbalanced and fragmented. While the lifeblood of your business may be understanding and satisfying consumer needs, consumers have lives outside of your business. To the consumer, if you fail to meet their needs, they simply move on to your competition.

Simple.  Easy.  Next.

While your business falters, flails or fails, the consumer simply moves on. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If only you knew what they were thinking.

If only you had consumer feedback:

  • At the moment of decision
  • When they’re frustrated or dissatisfied
  • When they settle and purchase something they really don’t want
  • When they decide to never return
  • As they’re leaving
  • Before they tell their friends
  • Before they rant online
  • Before they no longer care

Feedback…

  • Which you so desperately need
  • Which consumers are willing to share
  • Especially if incentivized
  • Especially if it’s convenient
  • And easy
  • And immediate
  • Before they leaving
  • Before they no longer care

With FeedbackPayback, it’s literally as if you are standing or walking alongside your customers while they’re in your place of business, asking them for their feedback. Currently, when your employees ask customers “do you need help” or “can I help you find anything” or “how was everything today”, the answers they receive are compromised by three key factors:

  1. It’s socially awkward
  2. It’s ineffective
  3. What’s in it for me

Most customers avoid sharing honest feedback on their in-store experience with your in-store associates because the nature of such exchanges can be socially awkward, if not confrontational. Far too often, the employee will either defend or explain the company’s policies, decisions or actions… leaving a customer in the Twilight Zone of having shared the feedback which the employee so earnestly requested, only to have their feedback (thoughts, feelings, input, perspective) either invalidated or placated with ‘policy’ and platitudes:

“I’m sorry you feel that way, Ma’am, but our store policy is…”
“I understand, Sir, but the reason we handle reservations that way is…”
“Yes, Ma’am, I will tell my manager.”

 

Another reason why in-store associates don’t get candid consumer feedback is because it’s perceived to be ineffective.

When a cashier asks “how was everything today”, consumers lack confidence that sharing their complaints, feedback or input with the cashier will make a material difference in the management decisions of the business. Far too often, they know their feedback will land with a thud.  They speak their peace – or rant – and the sales associate, customer service manager or cashier says something akin to “thank you for your feedback, we’ll look into that”.

Plus, ultimately, what’s in it for them?

Even if consumers get past these barriers, what’s in it for them? They might rant, vent or share their opinion on Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, etc – but why would they even bother to share that feedback with your business? Is it really going to make a difference?  Do they believe the employee asking for feedback really cares about their input – or are they just asking for customer feedback because they’re required to do so? And even if they care, do they really have the power to make a difference, to affect change?

This is what customers think when you ask for their feedback

All of which brings us back to the conversation between a business and its customers. Like any relationship, it needs to be mutual.

Companies advertise.  They pitch and sell.  They offer promotions and discounts. Far too often, they talk at consumers, they work from their own agenda. Instead, if they would listen, they would have the agenda which truly matters: the customer.

With FeedbackPayback, you will gain unprecedented insight into your customer’s agenda.

Each customer, every customer.  One at a time, over time… aggregated and elevated to a broader perspective, across your entire enterprise. So you can understand the present – and change the future.

To learn more about why FeedbackPayback will transform your business, click here