Consumer response is the positive or negative feedback a company receives about its products, services or business ethics. A consumer response can be solicited by the company or initiated by a consumer. The response can include a letter or answers to questions about a product or issue within the company.
After emphasizing on customer response and its advantages as it is also important to know how to measure these responses and what can be achieved after accurate measurement. For this it is necessary for an organization to incorporate following performance indicators:
- Financial Performance Indicator: The key financial performance indicator is Total Response Cost (TRC). By the use of TRC organization can easily compute the cost incurred for customer responses workflow, assets used, infrastructure used within organization, medium charges like internet and phone, income of executives etc. Some extended use of TRC is also to indicate the profitable aspects like which response was profitable and which was not. It can also compute which customers are profitable for the organization and which are not and which are they who can continue to give more profit in future. Total response cost is a powerful system which helps improving the financial aspects of organization by limiting the investments made by the organization and always keeps a check on customer response to enhance financial features.
- Productive Performance Indicator: The productive performance indicator determines the number of customer orders processed per human-hour. This order processing must be done is such a way that the time taken for processing is minimal to increase the productivity. Strategies used in customer service automation can bring immediate improvements in call centre automation, internet ordering, contact management automation, EDI’s etc. Web integrated customer response systems cuts off the need to hire more employees as everything is automated.
- Quality Performance Indicator: The Primary quality performance indicator is Order Entry Accuracy (OEA) and First Time Fill Rate (FTFR). OEA is formulated as specific orders produced by customers per total order produced. FTFR is calculated by total products delivered per total products requested. There are many other indicators which help measuring quality performance of customer responses like Invoice Accuracy and Order Status communication accuracy. Invoice accuracy tool keeps a regular check on Invoice automation system and measure the accuracy of them. It is generally formulated as the total invoices with accurate match of items, prices and quantities etc. per total invoices received. More the percentage produced by these tools more is the customer response value. It is necessary to measure quality performance so that the customers receive best services and customer satisfaction index always remain on top.
- Response Cycle Time Indicator: Response cycle time indicator is indicated by Order Processing Time (OPT). This calculates the time taken for the order; from time it was entered till the time it is delivered. One more important indicator called Order Entry Time (OET) is also installed which calculates the time taken from intimation of order until the order is captured or entered in the CRM system. This shows the time elapsed in the telephonic conversation or internet. By this the overall entry time taken by the executive to enter the details in the systems can be calculated. This is an important factor and can be used for increasing the productivity and for trying to reduce the time taken for order processing. Lesser the time taken to process the orders and entering the relevant information in the system, more are the chances to consume large number of customers in a given specific interval of time.
Customer response can help a company improve its overall quality of a product or service. For example, if an automaker desires to know the overall customer satisfaction regarding a new vehicle, it can send surveys to all of its customers. A company can send a postage paid envelope to collect the information. Once the information is collected, the company can then send it to the engineers, sales people and other departments.
A consumer response can benefit a customer and a company. The company benefits because it can gather information needed to enhance or correct a product. For example, if a bookshelf is too difficult for customers to assemble, a company can collect the information and make corrections to the product. Customers benefit from a consumer response because they can voice their opinion about the product and compel a company to modify the product.
There are different types of consumer responses. Among them are surveys, phone inquiries and in-person questionnaires. The surveys include a set of questions about a product or service. There might be multiple choice questions or blank lines for comments. The phone inquiries can include a hotline set up by the company for customers to call or calls made to the customers by representatives of the company. In some cases, the company may send a representative to a public place to find people who have heard about or used the product or service. The representative may ask questions and fill out paperwork provided by the company.
A consumer response has been significant in many industries. A cereal company may earn more profits due to the response from children and their parents about a product. A clothing retailer may find out why it’s not selling merchandise in certain departments by collecting information from its customers.
While some consumers may be annoyed by telemarketer phone calls and mailings from a company, the information is saved at many companies for years and taken to account when a new product or service is created. Some companies give consumers a disclaimer that they will not share the information with a third party. This promise can sometimes persuade consumers to respond with information.