Customer sentiment holds the key to unlocking hidden revenue in your business. As a retailer, eCommerce platform or marketplace, you’re likely to value customer sentiment — however being able to turn that sentiment into a successful business strategy to improve your business from a revenue or operations perspective is way more challenging. Customer’s experience, product range, and customer service are some of the base customer sentiment markers, and neglecting any of them can have a huge impact on the perception of your business and your revenue opportunities in the marketplace.
As customers feel the pinch of rising living costs, paired with stagnant wages, retail purchases are being de-prioritised in households. Businesses must now look at how to boost revenue in savvy ways through better optimisation of their current operations. Things like removing unprofitable products and services, finding new customers, and increasing conversion rates can all have a positive impact on business, but many managers and executives don’t have the correct data to make informed decisions on these and other growth strategies The right data is the difference between guessing and knowing. To find hidden revenue in your business, here are three of the core customer sentiment pillars, and ways to find opportunities for upward growth through each of them.
1) The Importance of customer service
All of us know that exceptional customer service is a huge driver of positive word of mouth and repeat visits. The frightening fact is that 91% of unhappy customers will simply leave, rather than complain, giving no opportunity to learn from mistakes. Customers just aren’t willing to put up with bad service and companies will unbeknownst lose out as a result of it.
When it’s 6 – 7 times more expensive for brands to attract new customers than to keep existing ones – getting customer service right is a clear way to unlock some hidden revenues. Right now, according to TruRating data, the point-of purchase customer feedback data collection company, when Australian consumers are happy with their retail experience they’re likely to spend 16% more per average transaction.
2) Product Range is Key
Making sure customers have an enjoyable experience is just one part of the puzzle. Having exactly what they want in stock is another essential piece, because when customers aren’t happy with product ranges, companies can expect revenue opportunity losses of up to 18% per average transaction.
So we can say that product innovation is important, especially as new international competition moves to Australian shores. However, with high failure rates and the vast majority of new product introductions being taken out of distribution before the end of their launch year, product can become a costly mistake. Of over 60,000 new SKUs introduced in Europe over the last years, just over half (55%) made it to 26 weeks, and only 24% lived to reach a full year.
3) Customers Value Experiences
In a world where people no longer feel the allure of owning “stuff”, instead preferring to spend on experiences; how can retailers satisfy this need whilst still dealing in products? Psychologists have found that people mostly feel frustration before the planned purchase of an item, compared to those who purchased experiences, those of which felt a heightened sense of excitement and were more satisfied long-term.
The rise of companies offering bespoke products that allow customers to partake in the design experience, for example Shoes of Prey or Mon Purse is an example of how retailers are taking advantage of the experience economy and thriving. Experiences are therefore a valuable new marketing stream for the savvy retail brands that utilise them.
To find where hidden revenue is within your retail division you must understand what’s missing and track your customers’ responses to target improvements and optimisations that customers will love. Customer’s experience, product range, and customer service are just some of the base customer sentiment areas which can lead to identifying areas of revenue potential, but this is only possible with data.
About the author
As Head of Asia-Pacific, Sophie Jillings manages the TruRating business in Australia and across the APAC markets, based out of the company’s Sydney office. Overseeing a team of 12 (and growing), Sophie is responsible for all aspects of the business, covering technology, partnerships, marketing, sales, merchant management and back office. Her background is in data analytics and marketing, relationship management and sales, focusing on the retail and services sectors.
 TruRating Data 2017
 TruRating Data 2017
 TruRating Data 2017
 Neilsen (link here)
 The Guardian (link here)