Leveraging customer feedback

We recently came across a situation where the person with a sales role in a client’s business was required to make calls to existing and past customers with a view to canvassing for additional work. He did not like this activity and, as a result, did not enjoy it and was ineffective. He thought that it was just cold calling and, other than asking if there was any likelihood of work in the near future, he had nothing to say.

After some time, we turned this on its head. I suggested that he called every customer the day immediately following the completion of a job, and ask:

  • How did the job go?
  • Were they completely satisfied with the outcome?
  • Can you suggest areas where we might improve on our service?

This had the benefit that customers could see that they were genuinely interested in the outcome, in improving their service where possible and that they were being listed to. From the sales guy’s perspective, he now had a real and positive reason for the call.

Of course, this does not overcome the ongoing requirement to talk to customers who had fallen by the wayside. However, what it does do is provide the basis of a good story to tell where the service delivery was changed in response to a customer’s suggestion.

And everyone loves a good story.

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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