In a business world where one faces competition no matter what we market or where we do it, having a good view on how your customers and prospects experience your products and/or services is crucial. Your customers have plenty of options and your competitors are always ready to jump in to steal them away from you. In order to remain a strong competitor, you’ve got to keep your customers happy. Besides having those important certifications – ISO this and that, which are definitely very relevant – you must have the realistic customers’ opinion about your business, product or service.
And the reasons why you need this information go from improving what you have to offer, to showing the customers that you value their opinions, finding gaps or identifying new opportunities in your product/ service portfolio, measuring their satisfaction, improving customer retention and helping you get new ones, among others. It’s important to say that most of the unhappy customers don’t complain; they will simply choose to never do business with you again. So, you’d better do it right and keep improving all the time. Remember … there is no standing still in the business world. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.
First, and before you even begin collecting feedback from customers, you need to make sure that you have clearly defined why you are seeking feedback, what your goals are. Outlining this process as well as the desired outcomes is essential for gathering customer feedback the smart way; otherwise, you may be blindly searching for feedback that will only cloudy your understanding of your consumers. So, here are some points for you to consider in order to have a good start: what part of the user experience you want to improve; what you will do with the data you collect; which channel works best for your goals.
There are many different methodologies that companies use to get the customer feedback. Some set up forums and ambassador programs, and held meet-ups with their consumers – both virtually and in person. One could argue that this could be an expensive way of doing things, which could be right. On the other hand, you want to do it properly and having the opportunity to sit with your customers and hearing directly from them have no price. Have in mind that you can get some mean comments and criticism from some users, what could hurt you and your team. I strongly suggest you see them for what they truly are: a unique occasion and pure gold!
Other businesses prefer to collect the feedback through surveys. When using surveys, there are some mistakes to be avoided. One of them, maybe even the most frequent, is surveying too often. It can be very tempting to survey customers about everything. Ultimately, we all want to know what our customers are thinking, but asking too frequently can lead to survey fatigue. This is when response rates go down and answer quality decreases because respondents are tired of being surveyed. One way to avoid this trap is instead of constantly asking your customers what they are thinking, survey smartly. That means only asking when necessary and only requesting for information you really need. For example, you don’t need to ask them for how long they’ve been a customer as this information should already be in your CRM. Another good approach is to spread surveys out through the year, never sending a survey to the same recipient multiple times a month.
Social media is a great place to get feedback from customers as well, be the repeat customers, or the prospects. Engage them on social media, listen to what they’re saying, and reply to them quickly. Also, your website, and more specifically its analytics is an excellent source of information from your consumers because they don’t have to answer directly. Track what parts of your website customers are visiting, how long they’re staying, where they come from, and where they go next. Adding comment boxes throughout your website can give users a chance to provide feedback without interrupting their web experience. Besides, you don’t have to monitor them right away, so you can collect the information for later use during the decision-making process.
One can easily find the so-called customer feedback software tools. There are many of them available in the market and the common goal seems to be helping businesses to collect this information and allowing them to manage user suggestions and complaints in a structured fashion. Besides the differences in pricing and plans, some aspects that you’d need to consider to select the one that would be right for you include: how good they are at collecting feedback, the features and benefits that make it different from the others and how good they are at interpreting, analyzing and acting on the feedback.
Customer feedback is one of the most reliable sources of tangible data that further can be used in making business decisions. It helps you understand your customers and their needs more profoundly and in a more consistent way. Take their suggestions into consideration and thanks to that find out where you should put your money to get the highest ROI. You must learn how to listen to it and how to translate it into actionable takeaways for your business, what will help you keep your consumers happy and get new ones. It’s one of the most important components of any successful business.
This article is for general, indicative purpose only and should not be considered investment advice. Florida Connexion is not liable for any financial loss, damage, expense or costs arising from your investment decisions based on this article.
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