Interesting things about the packaging industry, retailing dynamics, consumer trends and NOA’s insight.

So you think you know your clients

Apr 10, 2018 | Marketing Best Practice

You run a great business, with loyal clients who love the services you provide and would never dream of going to a competitor …

In an ideal world that would be the case and perhaps your business – be you in manufacturing, construction, transportation, storage, information services, finance or insurance or administration or other support services – has lost few, if any, clients.

But if and when a customer goes elsewhere, do you know why? Do you assume you’ve been undercut by a competitor? If you’d known them a little better, could you have prevented them defecting?

According to a 2017 report by Ombudsmen Services, more than a quarter of customers chose to take their business elsewhere or spent less with a company due to bad customer service, costing those businesses more than £37 billion.

It’s reasonable to assume that in many of the cases where customers dumped brand loyalty, the businesses they deserted were taken by surprise.

So it follows that unless you ask pertinent questions of your customers, can you be confident that you are providing the best customer experience you can, in order to avoid losing out?

Our survey says … understanding customer expectations

At NOA, we specialise in industry research, business development and marketing resource provision and coaching, mentoring and training services. We use our broad range of skills to help our clients get a real understanding of their clients; their likes, their dislikes and their expectations from you as their supplier.

In this digital age it may be surprising to learn that the tried and tested method of conducting telephone-based surveys is still the best way of finding out what your customers are thinking.

Picking up the phone and asking probing questions brings an understanding that can often be a real eye-opener; and as a trusted, independent third party, our clients’ customers are happy to talk to us about their experiences, expectations and – let’s be frank – disappointments.

Our surveys uncover:

  • Why people buy from our clients
  • What they like about their products or services
  • What is going well
  • What is not going so well

By acting on the information that we glean during our intelligent market research, our clients are able not only to improve the services and products they offer, they often end up being able to sell more to existing clients, or expanding their product range.

Our survey says … cheapest is best, right?

Although our surveys are conducted for clients in a variety of sectors, there are some common themes that emerge which you may find surprising.

Over the last six months, our surveys have consistently revealed that:

  • Customers don’t want the cheapest product or service possible, so if your strategy to retain and attract customers is price-based this may not be the right course of action
  • Quality service – by that we mean attentiveness, responsiveness, personal service, time and attention and access to senior level contact – is valued highly by more than 94% of those surveyed
  • Quality of information, design, presentation of information, accuracy and attention to detail is valued highly by 91%
  • Quality of the personnel delivering the service, or of the supplier team – their communication, knowledge and understanding of their customers’ requirements – is valued highly by more than 91%.

In short, what we have found is that whether your company makes cardboard boxes, manufactures capital equipment, is a consulting services organisation, a building services engineering group or an oil and gas equipment manufacturer, price is not everything. In fact, only 50% value this highly. Quality service and quality products are far more important.

So, armed with this information, you will be able to tweak, add to, or even overhaul your service or products and help create customer loyalty and increase your customer base.

The NOA portfolio of services across Market Research and Business Development help SME businesses achieve their company goals. If you are interested in finding out how Customer Surveys can help your business, please get in touch.

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