In this last month of the financial year, many of you will be planning or thinking about planning for the year ahead, including setting goals and aligning a budget and marketing plan to meet those goals. Your business goals help set you apart from the competition and ensure that you and your team have a clear focus with milestones to guide you along the way.
It’s worth checking in with your customers as part of your planning process. After all, they are the future of your business. To ensure your plans will meet their needs and expectations, consider obtaining customer feedback to give insight and help you stay connected to your customer community.
Having completed a recent survey with my local hairdresser, the feedback they received from their customers prompted a change of operating hours to suit customers who work Thursday nights and Saturdays and so find it hard to make appointments. They implemented Wednesday evening trade to accommodate their customer base which also had a positive impact for their staff.
Here are some examples of questions that are focused on the customer’s needs but provide you with the detail you’re after:
- Do our opening hours accommodate to the times you have available to speak with us to plan your next holiday?
- We understand your time is valuable so to provide a more personal service we are contemplating an appointment system. Would you find this beneficial?
- We are planning regular customer events and would like to know which night of the week would best suit you to attend.
- Are there specific destinations or travel products you would like to hear more about?
Most people are happy to fill out a short survey. If it’s attractive to them there’s more chance that you’ll receive the much-needed feedback you are looking for. You could offer them something in return for completing it, but a simple personal approach – such as an introductory message from the owner that explains why you’re doing the survey – could be enough. For example:
“My husband and I have been the proud owners of ABC Travel for over 30 years and are strong supporters of our local community. We understand we live in an ever-changing world and that your lifestyle also goes through change. We are now in the process of planning for the year ahead and would love to have your feedback to make sure our independent business stays relevant to your needs.”
Other ideas for encouraging customers to complete your survey are:
- Go into the draw to win a dinner for two at a local restaurant
- Go into the draw to win a travel voucher to use towards your next overseas holiday
- By completing the survey, you will receive a travel pillow (or something you think would be suited to your customers) when booking your next overseas holiday
- By completing the survey, you are now on the list for our new VIP event
By seeking their feedback and implementing it into your business plans, it gives assurance to your customers that they are important to you and promotes a positive customer experience for them.
Words by Nicola Strudwick, General Manager Sales