What to do if customers do not buy?

pexels-photo-355988.jpegLet’s imagine a situation where Company A asks an offer from Company B for their services. Company B sends their best possible offer to Company A, but eventually they decide to buy the service that they need from Company C. How often has this happened to you and what did you do?

In this kind of situation you can either leave it or you can take a look at the whole picture and ask yourself where did you possibly go wrong. One option is to ask Company A why they chose to buy from someone else instead. Clearing this out will help you to improve your business and maybe even make Company A return when they notice that you care about your customers’ opinions. So, how do you make such enquiries politely and without getting the other party’s guard up? Here’s how:

WHY?

Customers are the ones who bring you the profit, not you or your staff. Understanding customers’ needs is essential – not just because they bring the money to the company – but also because it gives you an advantage over your competitors. No one else knows better than customers themselves what they want. And who ever does the best job in listening to their customers wins the market share.

Talking to and thanking customers who bought something from you is important, but asking “why” from the ones who did not buy from you should be at least at the same level. It could be that they did not like the product, price, selection, customer service or maybe you did not interact with them enough. There are a million different reasons, but you cannot know for sure unless you ask. Assuming that one of the aforementioned issues was probably the reason why they did not buy sends potential customers straight to your competitors’ door.

By asking the customers “could you please elaborate what was the reason that made you go for our competitor’s offer instead of us” will help you to meet customers’ needs and improve your own business. Of course, asking ten customers, who decided to not buy from you, and getting ten different answers will not lead anywhere, but if four or six out of the ten customers name the same issue, maybe you should take a look at that particular aspect of your business/offer and think what you could do differently, better. The more satisfied your customers are with your services and products, the more likely it is that they become your loyal customers and recommend you to their colleagues and partners.

SOLUTION

So, how should you ask this easy question from the customers who chose to go with the third option instead of your offer? The answer is easy; by asking them for feedback. But this takes time and effort. Also; you need to know how to ask the right questions. You do not want to waste your own or the customers’ time with irrelevant questions, which do not provide you with any further information, and thus risk the chance of getting any responses at all. A good option would be to outsource the feedback process to an external survey company that has the resources to create a survey with relevant questions that fit your company’s needs and make the interviews to the customers who slipped away from you.

Here are the two best ways to gather feedback:.

You could create your own online survey. Creating an online survey is an easy option for you to set up and analyze, and it gives a chance to the current as well as potential customers to decide when they want/can answer. The survey could be sent to them by email or you can set it up into your website where everyone can complete it whenever they want to give you feedback or explain what qualities they look for in a cooperation partner.

But if you want to ensure a larger number of answers and to reach people directly then phone interviews are a better option. Making a phone call to your customers has higher survey response rate than online surveys, and what would be a better way to find out what your current customers as well as the lost customers think about your company and your ways of doing things than by talking to them? Also, human contact affects how the survey questions are answered and makes the respondents trust you. On the phone you can ask follow-up questions from the respondents, which helps you to get a better overview of their thoughts and ideas. That way you get more detailed responses which can help you to have a clearer idea of how you are doing as a company.

However, all of us know that most of companies do not have enough time to call all the customers that chose to go for another company’s offer instead of yours and sit all day on the phone asking questions. This is the point when research and consulting company steps in and asks the questions for you. Outsourcing the service to specialist in this field saves you time and gives you high quality analyses. All you need to do is to let the specialists do the work for you.

Win the Race: Outsource!

Expanding business and getting new customers should be considered the most essential aspects of running a business. That is if you wish to be in the business the next decade as well. You know it strengthens the brand too, so why not do something about it? In the era of digital world, everything needs to move faster than ever, including decision-making.

There is no progress without a struggle. There is also plenty of fish in the sea but not that many sharks. A determined carnivore has instincts like no other as it recognizes the potential and sees what others do not – an opportunity.

Why now?

You know there is recognizable improvement happening in the global economy at the moment. In Estonia the past years have been economically splendid but only recently has this been the case in the northern neighbor Finland too as we can see from this article:

http://www.focus-economics.com/countries/finland/news/gdp/finland-implements-labor-reform-as-q1-gdp-results-show-modest-growth Yes, it’s the coldest country in Western Europe but that does not mean the business is glacial too! Forget the past sluggish years, look forwards and act while you still can call yourself a forerunner. It’s time for the bigger bite.

How much do you really know about outsourcing?

An idea: the market has been divided once again and there is room for action. This will not last long since this is a fast-paced phase as the economy in the whole Europe grows. That is not the biggest news here, though. How to take advantage out of the situation? Outsource! Why? Scientific studies from different fields show us some important main reasons. These are always debatable but surely do not go wrong if one says they are:

  1. Helping to focus resources on the core activities
  2. Reducing costs
  3. Converting fixed costs to variable and
  4. Benefiting from suppliers’ investment and innovation.

Motivation can be divided into four categories: financial, technical, operational and political.

You can outsource pretty much anything; Project management, customer service, meeting bookings, recruiting, you name it. What is it that you would like to do for the betterment of your business but do not have the time or the right people for?

The first step, however, cannot be done by anyone but Yourself: The Decision. After that configure a cunning plan with a proper outsourcing company and create more, better, bigger. But how to recognize THE outsourcing partner you want and should team up with?

Outsourcing is tempting and doable. If the motivation is to thrive in your business then why not focus on outsourcing some of your operations! You might have the ideas but not the adequate amount of hands to make things happen for you.

Things you should know!

Before choosing the tasks you wish to outsource make an observation at your business once again and identify your core values and strengths. The moment you decide to outsource may become the moment you put your business at risk. If you are the owner of the business, you should always keep this in mind. Why? Because you are hiring faceless staff. Because you are entitling strangers to take part in the future of your business. However, the increase in outsourcing has largely become acceptable. The simple reason is the reduction in cost, gaining flexibility, and access to resources and know-how that a company is unable to afford alone.

Wondering if the author is supporting or opposing outsourcing? The answer is that outsourcing may bring benefits, yet, there are always also risks. Thus choosing the right company to outsource to can be frustrating work. The below checklist is our helping hand to you for finding the best outsourcing companies for you:

  1. Pick the right activities to outsource: Would you like to see your core know-how leaking? If the answer is no then to avoid outsourcing the area that may have the direct impact on your customers and business.
  2. Pick the right help: After identifying activities that need to be outsourced, the next task is to pick the right partner. There are many companies and freelancers offering the know-how that you need. Take a few moments to compare and contrast them, it costs you nothing but time. But time is money, you say. In the end, a little time is a small cost for finding the best outsourcing partner, who will bring value to your business.
  3. Consider all the costs: the main reason for outsourcing is that it would cost more for you to execute the operation yourself. Be wise with your choice, keep looking around for the best possible price (with the best possible quality).
  4. Preparing for a solid and transparent contract: Outsourcing takes place out of your sight, so it is important to keep track of the process and quality of the work. A contract should outline specifics about payment, the creative and other rights, expectations and roles, and outline an exit strategy. It establishes relationship and expectation with the provider and serves as a record of any activities beyond.

Any mistake can be fatal these days when the world is changing faster than we can adapt. Having a well-prepared plan for outsourcing will both help you prevent those fatal mistakes and boost your business’s performance. We hope the list will be of use for you when you consider outsourcing.

– Katrium Team

References:

https://www.doria.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/45313/nbnfi-fe200905251542.pdf?sequence=3

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(Outsourcing, Team Work and Business Management. New York, US: Nova, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 2 September 2016.)
https://biz30.timedoctor.com/15-essential-outsourcing-tips/