“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Bill Gates
As a business owner I know that you are constantly striving towards pleasing your customers, meeting their needs and keeping them loyal to you. But how do you know whether or not you are achieving these three things? If you are not continually collecting data on your customers’ experience then you are missing out on real potential to grow your business.
There are a huge number of channels that we can use to gather feedback, whether it is through your social media pages, customer satisfaction surveys or simply via email. So there really is no excuse for not trying to find out what your customers truly think about your products or services and using that information to improve and to provide the best customer experience.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is information that comes directly from customers, about how satisfied or dissatisfied they felt with a product or a service; and about their general experience with a company. Customer feedback can either be prompted, through surveys, emails or phone calls or it can be unprompted, through reviews left on websites or social media.
In today’s competitive world, the top performing companies are those that consistently listen to their customers. Take Amazon for instance, when you buy anything from their website you will receive an email within days to give feedback. Although you may not be have a turnover just as large as Amazon yet, your business will still benefit enormously from listening to what your customers say.
Here are five reasons why you should ask your customers about their experience:
1. It improves products and services
You might do a bit (or an extensive amount) of market research prior to launching your product or service to determine whether your customers are likely to buy it and if it needs to be improved before sending it to market. However it is only once your customers are actually using your products or availing of your services that you can really start to understand from them how their experience has actually been. Taking these opinions on board allows you to polish what is already working well and refine what is not.
2. It shows customer you value them
The act of asking a customer for feedback already shows them that their opinion matters to you. When you listen to what they have to say and act accordingly it makes them believe that your goal is to solve their problems and fulfill their needs. This, in turn, will lead to them spread the word about your business and make those all important recommendations, which should lead to new customers.
3. It improves customer retention
A satisfied customer will stay with you but an unhappy customer will find an alternative product or service and go elsewhere. Asking customers for feedback informs you of areas in which you could improve and allows you to react immediately to solve the problem and hopefully win the customer back before they leave.
4. It attracts other customers
Word of mouth advertising is very successful, more so now than ever in the age of social media. Consider the last time you booked accommodation or a table at a restaurant, did you read the reviews on their website or Facebook page? Consumers have access to so much information at their fingertips so it is crucial that your website and social media pages are regularly updated with reviews and recommendations from satisfied customers.
5. It informs the decision-making process
All business owners should see customer feedback as one of the most valuable sources of information that they can use to grow their business. Feedback allows you to gather real insights into how your customers feel about your products or services. This data can then be used to guide your business and marketing decisions. If, for example, a large number of customers request a particular product feature this might be something you wish to consider implementing. If, on the other hand, you are consistently getting the message that a particular aspect your service is not working so well then you might want to reconsider offering that service.
Look out for my future blog, when I’ll share my favourite online survey platforms for creating a customer satisfaction survey. In the meantime, if you would like any assistance designing and sending a customer satisfaction survey, please do get in touch.