According to Walmart founder and retail scion Sam Walton, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” If Sam was right, the customers are the ones who will ultimately decide if your annual forecasts are accurate.
The easiest way to predict what customers will want to purchase in the future is to ask them directly. Online surveys can be fast, inexpensive ways to engage customers and learn if they have clearly formed ideas about future purchases.
In-person interviews can provide your business with valuable feedback on what customers may want to purchase in the future. Today, customer interviews can refer to sessions that are conducted over video chats, phone calls, or face-to-face formats.
Questions that you can ask during customer surveys range from what the customer’s present and future personal finances are, and if they are optimistic about the economy. This information is often classified as consumer confidence data.
Customers and Forecasts
So, if Sam Walton was right, and the customer is the ultimate boss, I recommend keeping the customer’s comments front and centre when forecasting your future sales and revenue.
Elaine Allan, BA, MBA
Technology & Business Blogger