Should Small Businesses Use Customer Metrics?

Keep It Simple, Actionable For Small Businesses The Key To Using Customer Metrics

How Should Small Businesses Collect And Use Customer Related Metrics?

Small business rarely have the technology, resources or money to use complex methods for evaluating their customer service. That’s not a problem, since there’s no need for complexity. Here are some tips just for small business:

  • Don’t collect information about your customers and from your customers unless you know what you will do to get better. In other words, any information you collect needs to give rise to action (actionable).
  • Keep it simple. Data by itself is useless unless you can make sense of it, and the more data you collect, and the more complex, the harder it is to interpret it to draw conclusions.
  • Use front line staff: Make every staff member a collector of information about each customer, and make it easy for them to record the information. Something as simple as a tally sheet to record how many new customers and how many repeat customers can tell you a great deal, and it costs nothing.
  • Don’t restrict yourself to customer satisfaction information. As seen in the previous bullet point, define the information you need about your customers, then focus on a few things at a time. In the previous example, the information you get will tell you a lot about how you should be marketing.
  • Use customer service surveys rarely, or not at all. There’s nothing wrong with using surveys, but the reality is your staff (and you) probably already know how your customers feel. If not, then start there first. Surveys can give very biased information when done by people not conversant with how to write them, and how to analyze them.
  • Follow Up If You Can: If you own or manage a business, one of the best things you can do is contact customers if you can, to ask them about their experiences. It’s not always possible to do so, since you need contact information, and strictly speaking you aren’t using metrics at all, but the business intelligence you gain can be huge.

Author: Guest Contributor

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