Customer feedback is an invaluable tool for any business and yet, some businesses still choose to ignore it. Whether it be fear of negative response or simply the belief that no-one knows more about their product/ service than they do, it means that they lose the opportunity to effectively progress their business.
What people fail to understand is that it’s not the feedback itself that matters – it’s how you use it and where you go from there. It gives us an opportunity to understand a customer’s motivation, as well as their needs and desires. The real endgame of feedback always has been, and always will be improvement and innovation.
If you’re searching for reasons to ask your customers for feedback, look no further than these helpful tips.
Before you begin implementing strategies to deal with this feedback, you need to gather it. In order for a customer to provide feedback it has to be a simple process or many will simply not bother. There are a number of ways you can do this:
Surveys: Conduct a survey of customers by sending out emails to your client lists and keep them handy in-store.
Online Reviews: People love to review things online. Invite users to leave reviews about your business and provide them with the option for anonymity.
Social Listening: Use your social media accounts to ‘listen’ in on what customers are saying about your business online. Interact with customers to get a good understanding of what their issues are in relation to your business and services and suggest resolutions to their problems. Hootsuite is a great tool for that.
Website analytics: If you have an online business, track your website analytics and get an understanding about which of your services are most popular, where your traffic is coming from and what your demographic looks like. Google Analytics can be useful for this.
Usability Testing: Test out your services on other employees, family and friends or third-party outsiders in order to understand your product’s strengths and weaknesses.
Comment Boxes: Make these boxes easily accessible both in store and online for customers to send their feedback to, whether that be questions, concerns or praise.
Use customer feedback to develop customer loyalty and boost referrals.
In order to provide your customers with unparalleled service you need to understand where your business is falling short. Why would a customer choose you over another company? Identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses through feedback and address the issues immediately. The sooner you do the better so that customers have no reason to not refer your business to a friend. In doing so, you also demonstrate to the customer that their opinions matter and that they are valued.
Use it to understand the importance of retaining customers.
While one difficult customer may not seem worth it, the unfortunate reality of business in our competitive age is that they certainly do. By requesting feedback from your customer and making them feel valued the customer will be more likely to remain loyal to your business and not be interested in competitor services should they be tempted.
Use feedback as a testimonial to your great service.
Nothing puts a customer more at ease than a testimonial that demonstrates your competitive advantage over another business. This is what sets you apart from the rest and if you don’t ask for feedback you’ll never receive the good things too.
Use it to improve the training and education of your staff.
Nothing teaches you like experience. Use this negative feedback to train staff to combat the issue in future scenarios and identify these weaknesses themselves. Provide staff with an opportunity to learn and improve their training and expertise.
Use it to trendspot.
If your business is receiving the same critiques from many different people, it could be that you are missing something big for your business. It is vital to stay on top of business trends, especially in an online market that’s ever-changing, because the services you do and don’t provide are often the selling point for a customer.
Ultimately, you need customer feedback for the improvement and innovation of your business. By providing an array of platforms for a customer to do this, you are doing what you can to ensure that your customer’s voices are heard.
The best thing you can do with this feedback is finding ways to use it to your advantage. If a customer is going out of their way to make these suggestions the least you can do is listen and take their advice on-board. It’s important to always ensure a customer feels valued and that their opinions matter. If you’re committed to improving your business through customer feedback, be committed to change.