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“POSITION FOR GROWTH” WEBINAR SERIES Primary Research Tools: Using Customer Feedback to Improve Strategy, Service & Sales Loch McCabe & David Crumrine 734-975-0333

August 16, 2011


David Crumrine About Shepherd Advisors Shepherd Advisors is a management consulting and market research firm that helps companies and communities accelerate business success in clean energy and other markets. Companies engage Shepherd Advisors to build and implement growth strategies, improve marketing and sales, diversify market opportunities, sharpen their competitive edge, and access public funding.Â


Position for Growth Webinar Series  

Series of webinars focusing on using market research to drive sales and better performance

Market Research Focus Points Customer Intel

Types of Customer Intel Customer Feedback - Interviews - Surveys & Focus Groups

Sales Prospects Intel

Customer Demographics/Info

Competitive Intel

Today’s Topic

Internal Insights/Intel Overall Market Intel © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Loch McCabe

Primary Research Tools: Using Customer Feedback to Improve Strategy, Service & Sales Loch McCabe & David Crumrine 734-975-0333

August 16, 2011


Agenda   Objective   Using

Customer Feedback

  Conducting   Case

Customer Interviews

Study

  Q&A   Thank

You © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Objective Objective: Use Primary Research and the Customer Feedback tool of direct customer interviews      

To hear the VOICE of the customer To gain key “inside” intelligence & insights To improve strategy, service & sales.

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Using Customer Feedback

Š Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Market Research: Focus Points Research Focus

Common Research Tools

Insights

Business Value (Areas of Performance Improvement)

Customer

Interviews Primarily

Pain Points/Needs, Opportunities to expand sales, Operational issues

• Sales & Marketing • Service & Operations • Product Development • Strategy/Value Prop

Sales Prospects

Surveys & Interviews, Corp Websites

Key Needs/Pain Points, Competitive Offerings, Fit for your Product

• Sales & Marketing • Product Development • Strategy/Value Prop

Competitors

Surveys, Corp websites

Success Factors, Product Needs/Offering, Competitiveness

• Sales & Marketing • Product Development • Strategy/Value Prop

Survey &

Executional/Operational Needs, Managerial/Leadership Issues

• Service & Operations • Management

Competitiveness, Success Factors, Product Needs

• Sales & Marketing • Service & Operations • Product Development • Strategy/Value Prop

Internal Staff Interviews Overall Market

Surveys & Interviews, Corp Websites

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Why Talk with Your Customers?   Customer          

Does working with you work for them? Will they and do they recommend you? Vendor or partner? Are they thinking more future sales or less? Lower satisfaction -> lower sales

  Satisfied  

Satisfaction Matters

Customers are an ASSET

Increases your firm’s “value” Other customers   Business partners   Funders/investors  

 

More likely to stick with you in hard times © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Why Talk with Your Customers?   Learn          

What is working – especially what is working well! Concerns/areas for improvement Future needs Competitive standing How purchasing decisions are made

  Know    

Their Views of World

Where They Are Going

Directions & Magnitudes Priorities

  Nuances    

and DNA

Why? Stories © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Findings Can Help Build Business Marketing Value Conduct Primary Research

Compile Research Findings

Interviews, surveys, focus groups, & internal analysis

Insights & Intel Based on actual or “real” information

• How to position your offering

Sales Value • Generate more/better leads • Increase sales per customer

Service & Ops Value • Know where/how to improve performance

ROI Ongoing business benefit

Prod Development Value • Better know customer needs

Strategic Value • Better understand how the market views you/your competition © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Support Market Growth & Diversification New Market/ Current Product

New Product/ New Market 4

2 Customer Feedback Best Supports “Quadrant 1” Growth Initiatives

Current Market/ Current Market/ Current Product New Product 1

- New customers in current market

3

- Expand existing customer sales © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Integrate Customer Feedback as part of Growth Planning Process Our Focus Today!

Market Characterization

Gather Internal Intel

Compile Findings & Build Plan

Get Customer Feedback

• Market Level Research

• Staff Interviews

• Customer Interviews

• SWOT Analysis

• Success Factors

• Internal Data

• Customer Surveys

• Needs assessment

• Trends and Demos

Strategic Growth Plan

• Marketing Plan • Org Dev Plan • Financial & Operational Plans

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Conducting Customer Interviews

Š Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Research Methodology Guidelines  Identify

“Problem” or “Hypothesis”

  Address

key business questions

 Audience  Goals

and Objectives  Acceptable Type and “Margin” of Error  Research Approach/methodology   Sample

Size & Segmentations   Qualitative or Quantitative   Tools  How

Findings Action © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Questionnaire Guidelines   Figure      

out intelligence & insights you want

How you can best help them succeed What gives YOU an edge Specifics and patterns

  Questions    

Discrete choices Open ended

  Interview    

Structure

No more than 30 minutes (20-25 best) No more than 10 main questions (5-7 best)

  Follow

up! “Why?” and “Tell me more …”   “Anything else you would like me to know …” © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Sample Interview Questions   On

a scale of 1-5, where 1 is “not at all satisfied”, 3 is “reasonably satisfied,” and 5 is “delighted,” how satisfied are you currently with our service? (Why?)

  What

are the top 2 ways we can improve our service to better meet your needs? (Tell me more about how these ways make a difference)

  How

would you rank the importance of the following five product attributes? © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Sample Interview Questions   What

were the top 3 criteria driving your last purchasing decision of this product? (Tell me more …)

  For

us to serve you better, what are the top 3 suggestions you would offer to us? (Why these?)

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Tips for Managing the Interview Process   Setting      

up the interviews w/ Customers

Request in advance via call or email Explain how input will help you help them Can send questions in advance

  Conducting  

the interviews

Get “go ahead” Describe interview purpose   Address concerns up front  

 

Keep within time – Use regular time checks  

   

Ask permission to go longer if needed/desired

“Thank you for your time and thoughts” at end Have a separate note taker © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Management’s Common Concerns   “We

don’t want interviews to get in the way of doing business”    

Interviews to help you business do better Discuss key issues and adjust process

  “May      

take too much time”

Customer feedback  better relationship Want to understand customers’ view Should be a top priority

  “Is

this worth it?”

Specific, relevant, timely “inside” knowledge will help you better serve your customer   Depends upon what is done with feedback  

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Other Insights and Suggestions   When  

doing customer interviews internally

Choose interviewer who is Independent and has a senior position   Experienced and able to LISTEN   Can advocate for customer   Has the time  

  Use      

Professional 3rd Party to conduct interviews:

Feedback usually more open and honest Results more detailed, consistent, and comparable Positive signals to your customers  

Investment and commitment to servicing them well! © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Other Insights and Suggestions   Start

with small group of “friendlies”

TEST first – try things out; get surprised   “Friendlies” can answer your questions and give feedback about interview questions/process  

  Build

customer interviews into “system” of getting customer feedback Commit to do this regularly   Tell customers you will be doing this   Customers respond when they know you really want to hear what they want to say  

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Customer Feedback Case Study Company & Situation   Methodology   Outcomes & Benefits

 

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: The Client   Client

Business Situation

Manufacturer looking to grow in existing niches   Focused on supercharging sales and marketing & improving operational performance  

  Research

supporting strategic planning process

Market research used to identify learnings and insights   Key to knowing how to grow sales and improve delivery  

Case study modeled after our typical customer interview engagement scenario © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Our Approach   Interview

group of customers that represent broad set of customers  

14 individuals at 10 companies interviewed

  Select

the companies to interview

Customers from primary market segments and new/high potential markets   Mix of  

Good & not so good performance outcomes   Current and prior customers   Types of projects/services provided  

  Facilitated

introductions

  Interview! © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Select Findings - Overall Performance Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Strategic Feedback Strategic strength Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Operations Feedback Strategic strength Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

Operating Issues Purple Font: Delivery/quality issues Blue Font: HR issues Brown Font: Design capability issues © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Competitive Feedback Strategic strength Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

Operating Issues Purple Font: Delivery/quality issues Blue Font: HR issues Brown Font: Design capability issues © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Product Feedback Strategic strength Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

Operating Issues Purple Font: Delivery/quality issues Blue Font: HR issues Brown Font: Design capability issues

• Product offering needs to target • Marketing comm. capabilities to convey © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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A Case Study: Sales Feedback

Sales Opportunity & Intel

Strategic strength Customer

Customer 1

Customer 2

Customer 3

Overall Cust. Sat.

Key Supplier Needs

What’s Working

Areas for Improvement

Other Key Feedback

High

• Detailed Specs • Cust Svc//Follow Up

• Great mfg capabilities

• Delivery times can be late

• Let’s discuss taking on more business

Moderate

• Customer Service • Design support

• Can build anything

• Design services • Turnover in key positions

• Sales team is asset

Low

• On time delivery • Fab & Design capabilities

• Good fab shop

• Missing deadlines • Quality issues • Design capability is weak

• Competition is beating you on quality

Operating Issues Purple Font: Delivery/quality issues Blue Font: HR issues Brown Font: Design capability issues

• Product offering needs to target • Marketing comm. capabilities to convey © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Outputs of Customer Feedback/Interviews Significant benefits realized in several areas of the business, including:

Marketing Value Conduct Primary Research

Compile Research Findings

Interviews, surveys, & internal analysis

Insights & Intel

• How to position your offering

Sales Value • Generate more/better leads • Increase sales per customer

Operational Value

• Know where/how to improve performance

Prod Development Value • Better know customer needs

Strategic Value

ROI Ongoing business benefit

 

• Better understand how the market views you/your competition © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Recap   Objective   Using

Customer Feedback

  Conducting   Case

Customer Interviews

Study

  Q&A   Thank

You © Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Thank You   Questions/Comments?  

To Ask Questions: --write question/comment(s) in the question box and send

SHEPHERD ADVISORS WWW.SHEPHERDADVISORS.COM

Loch McCabe: Dave Crumrine: Tim Kumbier: Terri Schroeder:

MAIN OFFICE:

Loch@ShepherdAdvisors.com Dave@ShepherdAdvisors.com Tim@ShepherdAdvisors.com Terri@ShepherdAdvisors.com

734-975-0333

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Thank You We hope you have found this Webinar helpful   We appreciate feedback, comments and suggestions   What other topics would you like to suggest for future webinars? (Please respond in exit survey)  

SHEPHERD ADVISORS WWW.SHEPHERDADVISORS.COM

Loch McCabe: Dave Crumrine: Tim Kumbier: Terri Schroeder:

MAIN OFFICE:

Loch@ShepherdAdvisors.com Dave@ShepherdAdvisors.com Tim@ShepherdAdvisors.com Terri@ShepherdAdvisors.com

734-975-0333

© Shepherd Advisors 2011

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Primary Research Tools: Using Customer Feedback to Improve Strategy, Service and Sales  

• The role of customer feedback in the market research and strategic planning process • Best practices for gathering high quality and insig...

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