Source Marketing Direct, London based marketing and sales firm, believe that gathering and utilising consumer feedback will be the determining factor in business success this year. The firm showcases their consumer feedback results and techniques.
It has always been a simple idea, find out what a customer likes, do it, and they will come back. However it appears that the shift in consumers buying patterns, after the recession, has been grossly ignored by a number of industries. High street retail in the UK has been one of the worst hit; with the likes of La Senza, HMV, Habitat, Jane Norman, Barrats, Peacocks and Clinton Cards all either selling up franchises or entering administration over the 2011-2012 period (BBC News, May 2012).
Finding and keeping customers is the name and game of business. Every business needs customers, and very simply the more customers, the more profitable and successful a business becomes. So why are some businesses growing with new customers while others as mentioned above have failed? Source Marketing Direct say it is most likely down to how much effort each business put into attaining the right information, and more importantly how effectively the business utilises that information from their customers.
Source Marketing Direct entered the UK market in 2008, offering a service to attract and acquire new customers for businesses through innovative marketing campaigns, specialising in venue based promotions. The firm has always used a ‘direct’ approach, and have taken a similar standpoint on their consumer feedback techniques as well.
Hector Montalvo, Managing Director of Source Marketing Direct, says “I really believe that businesses that stop and listen to their customers, businesses that implement a cohesive consumer feedback regime, will be the ones who come out on top this year. Source Marketing Direct has in the past really on focussed on finding new customers for other businesses, beyond that we saw it as our job done. Client meet customer, customer meet our client, done. However times are changing and that is not enough anymore, we have spent a lot of time and money on developing a 5 point consumer feedback strategy which is already giving us so much data to help with our customer retention efforts.”
Source Marketing Direct recommends the following five practices:
1 Ask the customer – At the point of sale ask the customer how their experience was, whether they have any questions, or any comments about how the service could be improved.
2 Be the customer – mystery shopping allows a first-hand experience – really effective if time and resources allow for major competitors to be ‘shopped’ as well.
3 Focus Groups – use interactive group settings to get feedback about consumer’s perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards the product/service.
4 Questionnaires/surveys/complaint forms – keep them short and simple, this can be done directly, over the phone or via email.
5 Ask front line service staff – ask the people in the sales team, in the administration team, in the complaints department. They know best what is going on and can have some extremely valuable insights into your business.
The ability to find not only a high volume of customers for their clients but also customers with longevity has allowed Source Marketing Direct to expand their service throughout the Greater London, Bedfordshire, Midlands, Scotland as well as the Hampshire areas.