The Complete Guide to Customer Feedback
Some business owners tend to fear negative feedback from their customers. It is never ideal to hear what you have done wrong or what people do not like about your products. Perhaps it might be that the prices you offer are not as good as your competitors. Or worst of all, someone might provide reasons why they have decided to never come back. However, if your customers were left feeling this way, rather than jumping on your high horse and not acknowledging the issue, wouldn’t you like to know why? Yes, of course you do!
Why You Need Customer Feedback
More often than not, customer feedback feels as though it hinders more than it helps your business. And whilst the feedback can frequently be negative, customers’ opinions can often have value. Especially if you can surpass the feeling that you or your business are being attacked for something they didn’t like. After all, it is your customers’ personal experiences and opinions that can help you make your delivery of products and services better.
Customer Feedback Improves Your Products And Services
A lot of the time you will know exactly what areas you need to strengthen within the business. But quite often, you will be too involved that you might forget what exactly the customer might experience. Obviously to you, the services and products you offer seem great. However, it is so important to remember that improvements are always necessary. And despite your best knowledge, you are not the customer. You cannot assume what they are experiencing, which is a benefit as they can give you an outside opinion of the business. This way, the customer can bring to your attention what needs fixing, what is working well and perhaps they might offer a solution in some instances.
Customer Feedback Will Help You Innovate
In a highly competitive world, thinking of ideas to further your businesses innovation must extend beyond your team brainstorming sessions. With customers simply telling you what they like, what they do not like, what they prefer or what you could have instead will certainly help. The customers are obviously the ones who are using your services, so if their innovative ideas can assist your business, you really have nothing to lose.
Customer Feedback Will Help You Stay On Top Of Trends
More than likely you will be keeping a very close eye on industry trends to help your businesses innovation. However, customers do an even better job of this, as they have the ability to start or end the trends. An avenue you can look at is asking your customers questions to help you try and spot trends. They may not even be aware they desire a certain trend however through collating all responses you can see what people prefer.
Customer Feedback Shows You Care About Your Customers
It is widely known that people will continue to support a business that treats them well and values their loyalty. If done correctly, customer feedback can be a fantastic way to let your customers know that you value their opinion. The ability to offer feedback gives the customer a feeling of satisfaction that they are a part of an equal transaction. It is a great way to keep your valued clients engaged with your business beyond the point of sale.
Know When To Ask For Customer Feedback
When asking for customer feedback, be aware that obviously not every person will want to give feedback, which is OK. It should be a non-intrusive experience and is generally done close to the purchase experience or shortly after. Think of easy and simple questions that customers can respond to. Keep in mind that people will very rarely hang around to answer a fifteen-minute survey, so keep it brief. An initiative you might like to include is a few questions that offer a 1-10 scale for customers to rank their experience. Make sure the customers know their feedback is of big value to you. It is also important to remember to ask for feedback on a specific topic, not everything under the sun.
Here are some ways to gain customer feedback for your business:
- Customer Surveys – keep them to the point and only ask questions that you really want the answer to.
- Online forms via your website – make it easy and as few clicks as possible. Be sure not to divert them from their current page as they may not take kindly to that.
- Direct contact – this works particularly well if you have a large email database so you can customise the feedback to suit.
Initiate A Plan To Manage Your Customer Feedback
One of the first things you should do with your newly received feedback is have a meeting and show the comments to the rest of your team. Positive feedback will help motivate them and the negative feedback will get the team into action to improve services and come up with solutions. A part of this plan should include a response to the customer so they know their opinion was heard and it was appreciated.
In this day and age, it is almost impossible to escape customer feedback. It is everywhere, on social media, on review sites and possibly over Facebook if a disgruntled customer decides to vent to their friends. So, above all, customer feedback is about being an effective listener and being prepared to validate your customer’s opinions. This will keep them happy and ensure they return to your business and tell all of their friends what a wonderful job you and your team do!