Are You Listening? Consumer Feedback is King | A How-To Guide

Are you giving your consumer a platform to provide you with meaningful feedback?  Do you know why their consumption patterns have changed?  Don’t assume anything.  Have you asked?   

Ask the question, always!  If you don’t ask, you don’t know.

The COVID-19 era has paralyzed most brands into a “I know what’s best for me” decision-making process on how to survive, how to recover.  Many forget that the consumer calls the shots.  It is their pocketbook.  But it is your vision.  Don’t let the consumer hijack your vision for the future, but understand who they are and what motivates them.

To gain feedback and data in advancing your goals, your customer or audience is your “low-hanging fruit”.  In order to survive through the pandemic and transform to a vibrant purposeful business, just listen, yet continue to lead.

When you focus on the consumer, not sales, it IS a win, win.

There are two parts to this.  One is understanding who your consumer is.  What is their profile?  The other is offering a platform, such as a survey or focus group, to gain product, service, or general feedback on their current consumption behaviors.

Both are needed right now during these unprecedented times – consumer behaviors are shifting and they have not landed anywhere.  The consumers are adapting.   How flexible is your brand to adapt to these shifts as we get through these challenging times?

The following breaks down these two components as a more general scope of what should be collected or asked, keeping in mind that each brand/business would be tailored differently.

Frieze Frame: Fashion at Frieze Los Angeles, EDGExpo.com

Recommended Consumer Profile – a list of what you need to know about who your consumer is:

  1. Basic demographics
  2. Employed or not; work from home or office; what industry; head of household for family or themselves.
  3. Do they live in an apartment, condo, house?  Rent or own?
  4. What’s their form of transportation – car, public, Uber?
  5. What are they spending their disposable income on, money not geared for essentials?  Pre-pandemic and now.
  6. How do they spend their down-time – Netflix, gaming, reading, going out
  7. Do they spend money on fashion/clothes – if so for what purpose?
  8. Where do they prefer to buy their clothes – online or brick and mortar?
  9. How often do they purchase your brand?
  10. What value do they see in your brand – pre-pandemic and now?
  11. Do they have favorite brands and if so, are who are they?
  12. What do they value most?
  13. What influences them?
  14. What worries them?
  15. What motivates them?

Frieze Frame: Fashion at Frieze Los Angeles, photo by Rhonda P. Hill for EDGExpo.com

Recommended Feedback Survey or Focus Group:

  1. Implement a survey via MailChimp or email and send to your database, followers, or subscribers
  2. OR set up a ZOOM meeting targeted to a representation of your database
  3. Prepare questions to ask
    • Suggested question: what interest you most right now in product and content? And Why?
    • Suggested question: confidence – how confident are they in the economic recovery, retaining their jobs, and do they have health concerns?
  4. When asking questions during a ZOOM focus group, be prepared to ask why of answers to probe further.
  5. Capture the responses in writing so you can compile, analyze, and study
  6. Take action to adapt your business model based on the responses
  7. Send a Thank You note to the participants [not a gift] and let them know how they have helped with changes you are making.
  8.  Repeat the survey or focus group, periodically.

You are the visionary of your business and should always be thinking ahead of the consumer.  Consumer profile and consumer feedback are essential tools for any business at any time.  It is fundamental to running a business.  Because change is a constant, knowing your audience and what motivates them will guide you in sound forward-thinking decision-making.

Images:  Frieze Frame Art Fair 2019, Fashion at Frieze Los Angeles, Paramount Pictures Studio, photos by Rhonda P. Hill

Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor