The start and end of all the life cycle of any business is requirement vs. satisfied customer. Every business strives to do a very good and diligent job at providing the service and product to best of capability. In doing so a lot of time and focus goes in fulfilling the requirement and the part of satisfied customer is not looked at carefully. Meeting the requirement is often equated to customer satisfaction.
Large corporations have adopted methodologies to monitor Customer Satisfactions through surveys which acts in two ways
a) Company‘s Perception through Customer review
b) Understand Customer needs better and bring new ways to generate business.
Walk into any retailer and the meaning of customer comes first becomes all too clear. From décor to placement of commodities to environment is made to suit the customer.
The question is if the similar result can be made available at a very small scale. Definitely yes. Periodic surveys can not only bring forth the urgency to revamp the way of serving customer need but also getting across the idea that their perception counts. It will not make any difference if all these surveys are collected and no action is taken by Management to bring change if that is call of action.
Businesses which have survived decades and grown will tell the tales of how they have morphed over period of time and come up with better products and services that keep their customers satisfied and happy. One of major issue with GM was that it kept introducing newer models to meet need of new customers but focused little on existing ones and changing needs of customers. Result more than 140 models of cars and no definite focus.
Businesses are cyclical in nature. To start and grow is not a problem most of time but to keep growing and create a reputation is really dependent on your Customer’s Perception of your organization.