February 21, 2024
Gaining insightful customer feedback is essential for investors as they evaluate the satisfaction (SAT) and “stickiness” of the potential seller’s customers. For sellers that have a large customer pool, with no customer being 5% or more of total revenue, and varying diverse segments, Mayfield Consulting couples our usual in-depth telephone interviews with Enhanced Feedback. This is quick customer feedback from two additional sources – a check-the-box email survey and a digital review. By casting a wider net across the customer base, you increase the likelihood of engaging more customers through their preferred communication channel. Used along with qualitative, in-depth interviews with small samples, Enhanced Feedback helps investors gain more quantitative data from a larger sample while the in-depth interviews explain the “why” behind the responses in the email survey.

With the email feedback, the goal is to gain a reasonable return rate quickly.

1. Email feedback– Lengthy surveys and complicated forms can discourage participation. Instead, we opt for concise, user-friendly surveys that can be completed quickly. We use simple multiple-choice questions to streamline the process. Email surveys typically have at least a 5% return rate. If the customers consider your product or service to be essential, or they have a personal connection to your business, or a “big beef,” you can even achieve a 30% response rate. 

Incentivizing participation is a great way to gain a higher response rate. For instance, an Amazon gift card can go a long way to increase participation. This type of incentive not only motivates customers to provide feedback but also shows appreciation for their time and input. And if incentives are not acceptable in your customer’s company, you can always offer to give the same amount to the non-profit of their choice. 

With the digital review, the key is to have someone who understands all the digital review possibilities, sort out what are likely to be “fake reviews,” and perform a thorough search.

2. Digital Review – This search of online reviews can aid in the effectiveness of judging the satisfaction and stickiness of a customer base and its segments during due diligence. Digital review statistics add to your knowledge of how to sell to the various segments on an ongoing basis.

Mayfield considers:                                    

          • Google reviews
          • Company reviews
          • BBB reviews
          • Product reviews
          • Lists of Top 10 Companies in the seller’s companies’ space

Online reviews influence people’s buying decisions. Mayfield’s researchers use AI tools and are adept at spotting fake reviews – this is an art, not a science. We look for:

          • Hijacking - reviews under the wrong category/product
          • Paid/Incentive reviews
          • Multiple similar reviews
          • Other telltale signs

Large customer bases are often diverse, with different needs, preferences, and behaviors by segment. In the short time allocated between LOI and close, understanding this large number of customers can be a challenge. Mayfield’s usual in-depth telephone interviewing can explain the “why” most people answered the way they did. But these two additional techniques – email feedback and digital review – allow you to cover many customers quickly, to gain additional quantitative feedback about the SAT and needs of each segment.

This multi-faceted approach also allows you to begin tailoring your product or service to the specific needs of each segment – a fundamental principle in gaining revenue, customer retention and satisfaction long term. So not only does all of this feedback provide investors’ confidence, but you can also use it to lay the foundation for future marketing efforts – very powerful.

Mayfield Consulting’s team has hundreds of combined years of experience in sales and marketing, providing market research, business due diligence, sales, marketing and PR strategy and implementation. All services are performed by seasoned professionals, on an affordable, a la carte menu to business-to-business companies. Mayfield has special expertise in software, security, business services, financial services, and classic manufacturing industries. With a tagline of “Where Results Happen,” Mayfield Consulting has clients that have been named 11 times in the last eleven years to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, won more than 70 awards, and experienced exponential growth.