(Updated from original publication on August 4, 2016)
For several years, there has been discussion on how expensive and useless budgeting is for businesses of just about any size.
There is also the sense of dread it brings to management as they stare at spreadsheets and try to guess what numbers to increase, decrease, include or exclude.
Despite the facts, budgeting is ingrained in most American businesses. As department heads prepare for the fall budget review season, everyone starts to feel cross-eyed.
What are your budgets for staffing, training, capital improvements and employee pay based upon?
If your budget numbers are based on only the previous year’s numbers and an ‘acceptable’ increase percentage rate, you are missing out on vital information. The information that will help you zero in on the real cost of doing business.
Customer Research = Effective Budget
Clients who have instituted regular customer research experience programs have a finger on the pulse of what is going on in their stores, facilities, call centers and on line.
These companies gain information through consistent mystery shopping, customer surveys, and focus groups.
These businesses know exactly what brings value to their customer.
And value is the only thing your customer wants!
Using methodology and facts, they direct their money specifically to bring more worth to each customer experience. And then they track, trend and talk to their customers again to understand what works or what did not.
With regular evaluation programs your business – and we mean all your business – operations, human resources, marketing and supply – will know what the customer experience WAS, and what the customer expects it to be in the future.
You aren’t doing business the same way you did it 5 years ago, then why are you budgeting the same you did 10 years ago? Technology and customer-centric needs are changing how businesses are run and how you plan.
When you ‘listen’ to your customer, you will know where to tweak. Where to innovate and transform. And what not to touch or invest more money into.
Are you planning and budgeting? Do you want to do it most effectively and accurately to maximize your income and profitability?
Consider listening to your customer. It’s what’s ‘In”.
What measures do you take to decide on where your budget money brings the most value? Please share below.
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Contact me today to schedule a free customer research consultation! Come budge time, you’ll be glad you did.