Customer feedback is incredibly important to your business. In fact, it’s so important, we suggest putting it at the top of your overall marketing strategy.
Why is it so important? For several reasons:
• To improve your business, you have to know what’s going well and what’s not going so well.
• It helps improve customer retention.
• You’ll be better able to gauge your marketing strategy.
• It provides social proof for your other customers when you use it on your website and in your digital marketing.
Because it’s so critical to the success of your business, we’re going to look at six ways to gather important feedback from your customers.
1: Customer Feedback Surveys
Customer surveys are a terrific way to find out what your customers think.
Yet, creating a good survey isn’t the easiest of jobs. While you may be tempted to throw 10 questions at your customers, it’s a better idea to keep your surveys short and to the point.
Use online software to create your survey, but before you begin, write a list of the information you are looking to learn.
Then, break it down and keep your survey centered around one subject. You can use the other items in another survey.
Follow these suggestions to get the best survey results:
• Ask one question at a time. In other words, don’t ask two things in one question.
• Ask only the questions you intend to do something about.
• Pose open ended questions.
• If using a rating scale, make it consistent between questions.
• Don’t ask leading or biased questions.
You can host surveys on your website or through social media. You can even send them out through your email marketing channel.
Another great way to solicit feedback is to send email to your customers. By sending a survey through email, you often get a speedy response.
You’ll also have an automatic way to send follow-up emails or a thank you email to each person who completed your survey.
When sending emails to your customers and asking them to complete a survey, personalize the email. This increases the likelihood that people will complete your survey.
3: Direct Customer Contact
The easiest way to solicit feedback is to directly ask your customers what they think.
For example, if they come in your store or call you directly, you can ask them how they feel about your product or your service.
Don’t just assume that you know what your customers want or how they feel. Oftentimes, you’re dead wrong.
Be open to the answers, don’t get defensive, and be sure to record the responses so you can determine what action to take.
4: Usability Test
Another very informative test is the usability test. With this type of “survey,” you let your customer use your product and then ask them questions about it. For example, this is a good place for beta testing.
Usability tests require a lot of planning, but you’ll find they deliver excellent results often uncovering things you never even thought of.
For example, let’s say you are an email service provider and you offer someone a free account for a month and ask them a series of questions about their experience each week. You’ll discover valuable, actionable information.
5: Feedback Boxes
Hosted feedback forms on your website are another way to gather feedback.
Offering your website visitors a chance to let you know if they were looking for something you didn’t provide or happy/unhappy with your service is a quick and easy way to get feedback.
Place this form prominently on your website so it’s easily found. Keep it very short and succinct to increase the likelihood your website visitors will complete it.
6: Social Listening
Listen to your social media followers. When you notice compliments or complaints, record the responses and respond to the customer.
Additionally, you can conduct short polls on platforms like Facebook. These pools should be very specific to encourage participation.
Before you begin gathering important feedback from your customers, you do want to ask yourself why you’re collecting it.
Is it to get feedback on a specific product or service? Is it to find out why your customer purchased a certain product over another?
The reasons to collect feedback are numerous and distinctive to your business. But, before you collect it, make sure you have a purpose.
Once you know why you’re gathering the comments, you want to decide what you’re going to do with the data once it’s collected.
Be smart when gathering feedback so you have a clear design on how you’ll move forward.
Consider these questions:
• What part of your business do you want to improve?
• What will you do with the data?
• What’s the best way to collect the feedback?
By collecting feedback from your customers, you’ll always know if you’re moving your business in the right direction.
Once you’ve decided how you’ll solicit feedback and what you’ll do with it, set the process in motion so you’re gathering feedback from your customers on an ongoing basis.
How do you gather feedback from your customers? We’d love to share your answer with others. Please share your comments below.