from Management Craft

Discussions about state of the art management.

Promoterz is the hands-free, word-of-mouth marketing service that takes care of the details so you can focus on business. Learn more

from BertDecker

by Bert Decker, CEO of Decker Communications, Inc.

If you are not regularly staying in touch with your customers someone else will. How do you stay in touch? Learn more

from Be Excellent

Helping The Best Small Businesses To Achieve Lasting Excellence.

If you are not regularly staying in touch with your customers someone else will. How do you stay in touch? Learn more

Your Customers: Les Miserables?

Your Customers: Les Miserables?

I took my three teenage sons to see Les Miserables last night at the Gammage Center on the ASU campus. I've seen it several times now. Besides being awed by the amazing talent of the actors, I love the story told by Victor Hugo. Man can change and can make a difference (not to mention the fact that Jean Valjean was an entrepreneur that went from 19 years of corporate--sorry I mean jail--life to found a successful bead factory.) But I digress, what got me to thinking was I would have loved to be able to tell the cast how much I enjoyed it. Sure I stood up and clapped, but I would have liked to be able to tell them specifics.

We also had a local election here in Mesa, Arizona yesterday. The two main issues had to do with increasing sales tax and adding a property tax. It got me to thinking about exit polls. BTW, the sales tax measure passed. The property tax measure didn't.

My point--and I apologize for taking so long to get to it--is that there is real value in the concept of an exit poll for customers. The exit poll in the election world is meant to give an early indication of how the election will be decided. It is certainly not always accurate, but it is helpful. Wouldn't you like an early indication of what your customers are thinking before they vote with their feet and never come back?

Not only would you gain useful information so that you could make operational adjustments, it is also one more opportunity to build the relationship with your customer. I noticed in the Les Mis program that several of the actors had their own websites and were promoting their own CDs. What if the production had a website where I could go give feedback and in the process click on links to cast member products, maybe send a message to my friends telling them how much I enjoyed the production, etc.? Now I'm engaged. Based on the final ovation, I think several who attended would go give feedback and take the next step.

So will an exit poll work for your business? Lot's of ways to find out. You could position yourself at the front door of your business and ask customers as they leave how happy they are with the service. Or you could hire an independent firm to send some folks over with clipboards to ask for you--sometimes people will be more honest for a third party though you may lose something in the translation and it will certainly cost you something. Another option is to put technology to work for you (blatant plug coming) and use a tool like PromoterZ to collect feedback, email addresses and referrals online.

Remember two goals for the exit poll: get feedback and build a bridge to a more engaged relationship.

Unhappy customers tell on average 22 other people. If you ticket price is $50 that is $1100 in revenue. How would you like to know before they tell 22 others? Learn more

from Brand Autopsy

thought-provoking discussion on all things marketing-related

The growth of your business will be determined by what your customers say about it. Do you know what they are saying? Learn more

Seeds from the blogworld
We search the business blog world looking for posts that illustrate principles, or "Seeds", that if followed, or "planted", will help small businesses grow. We list them here for your convenience. Enjoy.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
After describing modern consumers and their desire to watch or read what they want, when they want, the current issue of Business Week concludes: The result: a serious case of attention deficit for ...more.
What is the most compelling thing about your business from your customers' perspective? Is it remarkable? ...more.
Another example of the power of promoters. Shade Clothing sells undershirts for women that are longer than normal for those that aren't interested in showing the world their belly button. It was fou ...more.
I read recently about a musician--a cello player to be exact--that moved to New York City. She didn't know anyone in the city and was looking for opportunities to play her cello. Her solution? She ...more.
I read a great article recently about George Washington. As I read about his amazing leadership characteristics it occurred to me that they are the same characteristics any entrepreneur or business l ...more.
On the company the effect is like being assimilated into the Borg, but for users of their software it's like having a friend with a malignant brain tumor. You're going to have to say "goodbye" soon t ...more.
What says summer more than traveling carnivals? Cotton candy, hot dogs, rides that go around and around until you puke! Does life get any better than that? I submit that it cannot! The blog worl ...more.
Remarkable is the key here. These native american kids are remarkable in and of themselves. Their product follows suit. They have figured out government issues, food serving issues, product, marketi ...more.
In the cluttered marketplace we compete in, I don't think the power (and necessity) of staying in touch can be overemphasized. I learned the lesson again last week--thankfully in a good way. It had ...more.

Blogroll