In B2B companies, sales decision-making can be hindered by various misconceptions, such as an excessive focus on competitors' actions or reliance on flawed customer survey methodologies.
One key step that smart companies take is identifying the key decision-makers within the client organization. These are often the individuals who have the most influence over the purchasing decisions and the relationship with the company. Once these key decision-makers have been identified, the company can focus on collecting direct and more frequent feedback from these stakeholders.
Another key step is to have a systematic process in place for capturing, cataloging, and analyzing individual conversations. This process can involve using tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, which allows for easy tracking and analysis of customer interactions. Additionally, having a dedicated team in charge of monitoring and analyzing customer feedback can help ensure that the data is accurate and actionable.
It's also important for the company to take action based on the feedback they receive. This means not only identifying and addressing specific issues but also looking for patterns and trends in the data. This can help the company identify areas for improvement and make strategic decisions to better serve its customers.
Smart companies make sure to involve all departments, such as sales representatives, account managers, operations teams, and service agents in the process of collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback to make sure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goal of improving customer satisfaction.
Getting customer feedback
There are several strategies that can be implemented to gather useful feedback from customers. One approach is to create a survey that is tailored to the specific needs of the customer's organization. This can be done by identifying the key areas of concern for the customer and designing the survey to gather information on those specific topics. Additionally, it is important to make the survey easy to complete and provide clear instructions on how to participate.
Another strategy is to establish a regular schedule for feedback gathering, such as conducting surveys on a quarterly or annual basis. This allows you to track changes in customer satisfaction over time and identify any patterns or trends.
Another key aspect of gathering feedback is to ensure that it is being collected from a diverse group of stakeholders within the customer's organization. This can include individuals from various departments and at different levels of the organization. This will give you a well-rounded understanding of customer satisfaction and any issues that may be impacting multiple areas of the organization.
Additionally, it is important to establish a system for analyzing and acting on the feedback that is collected. This can involve creating a team or task force that is responsible for analyzing the feedback and making recommendations for improvements. It is also important to share the results of the feedback with the customer and to provide regular updates on any actions that have been taken in response to their feedback. This demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and helps to build trust and loyalty.
There are several key aspects to using feedback to engage in direct dialogues with customers:
- Gather individual responses: It's important to get feedback from a variety of people within the customer's organization, as different individuals may have different perspectives and needs.
- Share information with the account team: Once feedback has been gathered, it should be shared with the account team so that they can use it to inform their interactions with the customer.
- Follow-up calls: Account managers or their designees should make follow-up calls to gather more information on specific complaints, priorities, and desires. These calls should not be sales-oriented, but rather an opportunity to probe for more information.
- Use feedback to demonstrate understanding and address needs: The conversations provide an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of customer needs and explain how the team can address them.
- Review feedback and make adjustments: The account team should review the feedback and consider how to address detractors, make use of promoters, and modify behaviors or procedures as needed.
- Elevate issues to higher levels: If necessary, the team should also elevate issues to higher levels or other functional groups within the organization, using consistent customer feedback to spark action.
By regularly gathering and using customer feedback, companies can gain valuable insights into customer needs and make improvements that result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Centralizing customer feedback
Centralizing customer feedback in a dedicated customer relationship office allows for more efficient and effective analysis of the data. By coding the verbatim responses, patterns can be identified in areas such as price, sales process, product, and service. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of customer needs and concerns.
Dashboard reports can then be created for operating managers, providing them with key metrics such as response rates, verbatim summaries, and follow-up status. These reports can also be used to compare ratings for each account and identify specific issues that need to be addressed.
The central team can use this information to prioritize customer concerns and opportunities, and launch initiatives to address them. Additionally, the information can be used to make informed decisions and improve future performance. It is important for the company to act on and incorporate feedback into future decisions to ensure customer satisfaction and improve customer relationships.
Co-founder at Motionbox