Can a simple questionnaire ensure the success of new products and services? Maybe not on its own, but as part of a more complete innovation process – yes!
Many companies miss out on great improvement opportunities in both product and marketing because they don’t take customer dialogue seriously enough. Development of new products and services is the main source of growth and success for businesses, but in the pursuit of innovation many companies forget to actively connect with their customers and ask them what they want. Innovation is important, but often it is just a small adjustment in the product or communication that is needed to increase sales.
Branding giant Procter & Gamble did a customer survey for Pantene shampoo where they simply asked; “Why are some shampoos better than others?” What they noticed was that many responded “because they have more vitamins” – and soon after Procter & Gamble launched the Pantene Pro-Vitamin B5 shampoo, which quickly became a huge success.
The point of a survey is to create dialogue with the customers, and then use the feedback to customize both the product and the communication of the product to the customers’ world view at the given time.
It is not always the case that you get a “Pantene success” out of a generic customer survey. A smart thing would be to segment your customers in different target groups and tailor the survey questions to each group. It’s a big difference between a new customer and a customer who has shopped with you for 20 years, and the questions you would want to ask them probably quite different. You would not ask a regular customer “How did you hear about us?”, but it’s a very relevant question to ask new customers.
The next step would be to use specific events to trigger the dialogue with your customers, for example by setting up regular surveys to be sent after each purchase or after every contact with the call center. It’s after a fresh interaction with your company that your customers are the most willing to give feedback on their experience.
Challenges and unhappy customers are important factors in product development, and by capturing the reasons behind dissatisfaction you can create a learning organization and a process of continuous product development and innovation.
voice of the customer
Customer Experience Management
increase response rate
voice of the employee