In the first three parts of this series, we have been discussing the importance of and how to gather ideas, suggestions and comments from your customers. I also introduced the LAW method – listen, ask, and watch. Part 2 focused on listening. Part three focused on asking. Today, we will dive a little more deeply into watching your customers as a way to gather information that could improve your business.
Think a questions
Suppose you recently added a new feature to your business, perhaps a coffee bar or information kiosk and you want to know how your customers are interacting with it. You might be curious about its effectiveness or what you could do to make it better. Start by asking yourself a few key questions about the addition. For example:
- How often are customers using it?
- How many customers aren’t using it?
- How much time are they spending there?
The key is to set some type of criteria that you can build a simple tally sheet from. List out each question on a sheet of paper and you are ready to begin observing.
Observe and record your findings
This is the easy part. If you have a place where you can sit back and watch customers interact with the feature do so. In the case of the coffee bar, you might actually station yourself in it. Keep it low key and don’t let your customers know what you are up to. As customers hit the criteria on your observation sheet, add another check mark to the sheet. Once you’ve gathered enough observational data to help you make a decision, it is then time to start making improvements.
Unlike listening and asking, with the watching part of the method, you don’t have to advertise the improvements you are making. Instead, just make the necessary adjustments to your business. Once you’ve made the adjustments, you might want to set up additional observation in order to ensure that you are getting the results you desire.
In our last installment of this five part series, we’ll quickly discuss two key issues:
- The customers you might be missing
- The importance of integrating your customer feedback mechanisms