Customer Feedback: How, Why, Who.

You will see it all the time now, feedback and reviews feature a big part of any business. The main reason for this is simple: “Customers want to hear what other customers have to say”. Do your customers give you repeat business and recommend you to others?

Think about what you would do? Would you go somewhere new, try a new coffee shop, or buy a new product without listening to what others have to say first? Feedback is now very public, a lot more than it used to be. Your business needs to part of it.

If you don’t have a feedback and review strategy then you won’t get positive feedback but people WILL leave negative feedback on Social media which is out of your control and difficult to track. Unfortunately people generally feel compelled to leave negative feedback, but will not leave positive feedback unless asked for it.

Who

Feedback is applicable to every type and size of business in every sector. It is important to large companies and they build customer feedback into their marketing systems and strategies, which is great. But that doesn’t mean small companies can’t take advantage of a good feedback and review strategy.

In fact, for small companies looking to give great customer service, impress, build relationships, learn and grow. This is for you….

Why

Why do we want to collect feedback?

Brand reputation.

Your image is important to your business, especially for small start-up businesses in their infancy. Not having a feedback strategy encourages people to take to Social Media where the consequences can be disastrous.

Getting your customers frustrations, ideas or comments off Social Media and into a Feedback platform gives you some great advantages:

  • Keep everything in one place to make it easier for you to manage
  • Respond straight away.
  • Deal with issues before they get blown out of proportion.
  • Nip issues in the bud.
  • You are in control

Learn.

As your feedback starts to come in you get a great source of information and knowledge to learn from.

  • What are the problems.
  • We are sometimes not fully aware of all the issues.
  • Saves you being complacent and makes you aware of items that you otherwise would not have known about.
  • Highlights what is important to your customers.
  • Can flag up ideas for new products / services. Allowing for Continuous improvement.
  • Give you ideas of what else you could be offering.

Care.

Customers love to be cared about. It shows you are listening to them and wanting to build a relationship. Get closer to them, understand what they want and build your business from there.

Marketing.

All your feedback content gives you great marketing intelligence. Wouldn’t it be great if your marketing campaigns could be personal to your customers. Well if you have their feedback, you know what they want and can tailor your marketing accordingly. Your marketing will then resonate with your customers making it more powerful and effective.

How

So, now we know why this is so important, what are the best ways of going about doing it? There are multiple methods of gathering feedback, some will be more or less relevant depending on your type of business.

  • Observe. Keep your eyes and ears open.
  • Listen to your customers, their body language, facial expressions. How are they acting and responding.
  • Look at digital analytics, see if people are leaving your website or service. Question Why this is happening.
  • Ask. Discuss problems face-to-face, get to know your customers. Talk to them and understand them
  • Staff. Do you allow your staff to give you feedback of what they are seeing. What are their ideas. Create an environment in your team that allows open and honest discussions.
  • Indirect. People WILL talk about your business online and on Social Networks. Be aware of this — you can use Google Alerts to notify if your brand/company is mentioned online.
  • Don’t ignore negative feedback that is online. It sends out a “We don’t care” type image about your business.
  • Surveys. Surveys can be useful but are generally limited and it is difficult to get responses. People don’t like completing lots of questions.
  • Online platform, Email & Text Messaging. Whilst this is not as ‘personal’ as talking to your customers, it is still vitally important. Having multiple methods of receiving feedback is key to getting as many people to respond as possible. It needs to be easy or it won’t happen.

Closing Points

  • Negative feedback is important
  • Learn from feedback that is given
  • Action feedback promptly so your customers know you are listening.

Originally published at feedbackhub.co.uk.