How to Get Customer’s Feedback
Feedback helps establish trust with customers, receive additional information, sell more and better.
If there are sales and you do not ask for feedback, then you lose your money and your time. Once again — you lose YOUR time and YOUR money. You’ve already spent time preparing the solution and sending it, so take the time to get a damn feedback!
But if there is a decline in sales, then you start looking for reasons, customer survey and dancing with tambourines. But there may not be enough time or money to eliminate the identified causes.
Therefore, do not bring the situation to fatal — systematically work with feedback.
Here’s what you need to do.
Establish contact after sending a business offer
You prepared a business offer and sent it to a customer. Call him in 5-30 minutes. Ask if he received your business offer, whether the file opens, whether the format of the drawings is suitable, and so on.
What time should you call back after sending a business offer? Electronic messages are delivered at the speed of light. Some even faster — through wormholes. However, there are few BUTs: corporate security systems, receptionists, server failures, etc. So start calling from 10–15 minutes after sending an offer. In the future, will pick up the individual time for each client.
Usually, I call back in 5 minutes after sending an offer. So I focus the client’s attention on my offer and collect additional information.
Even if a customer has not yet received your business offer, learn more details: when they are going to buy, what are the evaluation criteria, who else is being considered, who will decide, etc?
If an offer came, suggest a client open and view it. Pay attention to the key aspects of an offer. At this stage, a client can already state that the proposal is unacceptable. So you can correct your proposal.
Therefore, your call is very important… for you … for your client … for the planet.
Customer does not contact
What if a customer does not make a contact?
A customer does not contact: What to do?
Think of your phrase, in which for 30-60 seconds you either bring a customer to the feedback or say goodbye to him:
Dear customer, we have prepared a proposal that will save NN million dollars and increase your profit on TT% … These indicators can be further improved. For this, I need your help …
If a deal is worth it, determine the intervals through which you will periodically contact a customer — 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks.
Otherwise, look for other customers.
Get detailed answers
Never limit yourself to the customer’s answers, that your business offer is expensive, does not go through the deadlines, offers a non-quality solution, is out of the target market, etc.
Such generic phrases do not give criteria for evaluating an offer.
Example. A customer said that a price was high. If you end the communication with the customer, it is not clear why the customer considers the price high and how high: 100 dollars, 100 000 dollars, 100 000 000 dollars?
I’ll show how to get detailed answers.
So, a customer told you that your price was high. You ask him why he thinks so. In response, you can hear the following:
- They conducted a market research
- They counted the cost of all the works/components
- There is an estimate that considers all costs
- There is another amount in their budget
- There is no budget at all
- They received other business offers
- Their boss designated the target amount
- and the like.
In addition, each answer requires clarification:
- How was the research conducted? When? Where did the statistics come from? What year of statistics?
- What activities/components were considered? Did you account for necessary approvals and permits?
- What costs are included in the estimate? Agreements? Permits? What date is the estimate compiled on? What were budget standards used?
- What is the budgeted amount? Are there deadlines to spend this budget?
- Is the budget planned at all? When? What is the procedure for planning and agreeing to a budget? What data can I provide for planning it?
- What are the evaluation criteria for proposals? What place is your offer at? Did competitors consider the necessary approvals and permits? When and who will decide on the choice of a contractor / a supplier?
- What is the target price? Why such a price? Are there any offers with such a price?
- and the like.
Having shown a little perseverance, you will receive information that can improve your business offer. Maybe not 😊
Determine next steps and their terms
Now, you received a customer response to your business proposal. Maybe not 😊
Be sure to agree on the following actions: who and what does, terms and repeated contact. If a customer did not respond call back in 2 days.
There is such a trick — to take additional obligations. Take upon yourself the obligations that you will have fulfilled without difficulty. For example, suggest sending a reference list of implemented projects. This is another reason for a contact.
Write down customer answers
Always write down the feedback. In CRM, in Google Tables, in Microsoft Excel or in a notebook.
That’s how I do it.
A clear structure of feedback records focuses on unworked deals
When I send a business offer to a client and do not receive immediate feedback, I write down into a deal card information about when I sent my offer to a client.
A record usually begins with “=== 09171456” or “=== 171456”. In this notation:
=== — I add a prefix “===” so that the unworked deals stand out. You can experiment with “****” or “???”, etc;
09 — month (as you can see above, I can omit a month);
17 — day;
1456 – time.
“=== 09171456” or “=== 171456” — similar records mean that I sent an offer and did not receive feedback.
When a client gives me feedback, then a record looks like:
=== f09171547 <comment> — a letter “f” means that I received feedback. After the numbers I write a short comment about a deal status.
Usually, I replace “f” with a letter of a communication method, which received feedback:
=== s09171547 <comment> — answer by Skype,
=== e09171547 <comment> — answer by e-mail,
=== f09171547 <comment> — as a rule, answer by phone.
When a client ignores me:
=== 09171547-3 — means that I contacted a customer 3 times and all 3 times a customer ignored me. Here I wrote a date of the last contact. When a customer ignores me 4 times, I close a deal with the “Cancel. w/o fb”.
If I win a deal or receive an order, then I write: D#(deal or contract number) or PO#(order number)
If a customer refused a deal: Cancel. <Reason>
Improve your business offer
Now it’s time to improve your offer on feedback received. Let’s go!
- Establish contact after sending your business offer
- Always get detailed answers
- Determine the next steps and their terms
- Write down customer answers
- Improve your business offer