How Do You Rate?

How do you know how your customers feel about their shopping experiences with your store? What sort of services do they really appreciate and what other services would they like your store to offer? How do customers perceive your store’s offerings? Why do they shop at your store? What other jewelry stores do they buy from and why? What jewelry items do customers think of when they hear your store’s name? What additional jewelry items do they wish your store handled? If shoppers visited your store but did not make a purchase, why didn’t they make a purchase? How do customers feel about your prices, ease of purchase, and customer service? Do they plan to make a repeat purchase in the future? Would they refer family and friends to your store?Recently I purchased jewelry online and agreed to take a post purchase survey conducted by Yahoo. The survey only required a few minutes and provided me an opportunity to rate the merchant. Yahoo publishes ratings on participating merchants. Merchants can greatly benefit from learning how customers perceive their shopping experiences through surveys conducted by a third party.

Clearly merchant ratings and reviews can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions and improve their shopping experiences. Reviews are written by users and provide valuable details about consumer perceptions of their ordering experiences with a particular merchant. Surveys include a rating scale and a review section where customers can write their own comments. Consider how these rating scales benefit online shoppers and how the trend in online sales continues to grow at an accelerated rate each year. Are online merchant rating systems a new form of trustworthiness that influences some customers to make purchases online?

There is a lot to be learned from customers. If you think you already know it all and don’t think you need to ask your customers how you are doing . . . think again. When is the last time you polled your customers to find out what they are really thinking and feeling about your company? If you did survey your customers how could you use the information to improve how you solicit and service customers? How could you use the information as a proof source to demonstrate your store’s trustworthiness and superior value proposition?