In today’s world customers are used to being ignored by huge multinational companies that seem to have little interest in the individual. The problem with this is that they now vote with their feet and go elsewhere, rather than making contact to highlight something they’re not happy with.
If you want to buck the trend and give your business an incredible advantage over the competition, you need to start gathering honest feedback from your customers. Let’s take a look at why it matters, and how you can do it.
Why feedback matters?
Feedback matters because it’s what allows you to make the continuous iterative improvements that will enable you to fine tune your business. It’s really important to recognize that you’re not going to get everything right straight away. Of course, this is what you aim to do, but real-world exposure will soon highlight areas for improvement. Customer feedback is the main way you’re going to gain insight into where these areas lie within your business.
Be proactive in seeking it out, listen to it, and then put it into practice as quickly and efficiently as you can. If you do these 3 things, you’ll be able to continuously improve your business so that it works in the best interests of your customers.
#1. Reach out with social media surveys
If you want to learn where you went wrong, you need to be proactive about implementing customer feedback. It’s an art form that not all that many businesses practice, which means there’s an opportunity for you to get ahead of the crowd.
Social media is the best way to do this because it allows you to casually appear in the palm of a customer’s hand. It’s unobtrusive and doesn’t have the reputation of being spammy or a waste of time like a large mailshot campaign. Use a personable and positive style of language, and you’ll be amazed at how far it gets you.
#2. Send free-form emails that allow your customers to open up
Free-form responses can be so much more enlightening than the constrained multiple choice answers in traditional surveys. If you want to address nuanced and multifaceted issues with your business, open up the forum to your customers. It will take longer to process the responses, and they might not fit neatly into categories for a PowerPoint presentation, but that’s fine. They will help you build a bigger and better business, which is the whole purpose of the exercise.
#3. Schedule a phone call for the personal touch
Speaking to your customers over the phone is something that will give you the chance for follow-up questions and discussion. Two things that you really need to make the most of if you want to be able to take your business to the next level. For best results, schedule the calls in advance so that you’re not putting your customers on the spot.
Pat Fredshaw, Head of the Content Department at Essay Supply shares: “Speaking to a customer on the phone is something I make a point of doing at least once a week. It’s the type of personal feedback you simply don’t get with any other medium”.
#4. Invite them to get in touch in a way that suits them
Tools such as FlashEssay or the Hemingway App will enable you to find the words that make your outreach attempts easily readable, and highly engaging. By showing that you’re available for a chat, free-form email, and are active on social media, you can make yourself approachable and easy to deal with. This will make people far more likely to tell you what they think, rather than bottling it up and getting so annoyed that they drop you in favor of a competitor.
#5. Show how you use feedback to improve your service
The final piece of the puzzle is to show that you actually value the feedback your customers give you. Sometimes customers will feel like they’re too small to change anything, or they’ll be cynical and think that you’re just carrying out a paperwork exercise with no useful output at the end. If you want people to engage with the process, you need to change the narrative.
Show how their feedback has directly driven innovation in your business, and thank them for it. This will empower your customers to give you more feedback, and help drive evermore change. If you want to reach out to a larger international audience, then use tools such as Online Writers Rating or Survey App to make it happen.
“Showing our customers how we use their feedback to build a better service is key to everything we do. I’d highly recommend it to every business, big or small” — says Lindsey Anderson, web strategy expert at One-Click Lindsey.
Now that you’ve seen how to get the open and honest feedback every business needs if it’s going to succeed, all you need to do now is put it into practice. Create a list of the improvements that need to be made, and then work backward to where you are right now. This will enable you to see the intermediate steps that will enable you to implement the changes.