Most people start businesses for one reason – to make money! Sure, there other reasons… They are passionate about the work they do, they are helping out other people, or maybe they are providing a service to make the world a better place. But let’s be real. Unless a business is a nonprofit, people open businesses because they want to make money. And we want to make as much money as we can with a specific amount of effort. But what if you find out, as a business owner, you could be exerting the same amount of effort and making more money? That’s why customer feedback is so important.
You may think your business is as successful as it can be, but how do you know? Maybe there is a product or service you are not providing that your customers wish you were providing. What if your first point of contact, such as the office assistant that answers the phone, is slightly less than pleasant to callers? Situations like this will cause your business to lose money. But how could you ever know about what’s going on? Again, customer feedback is the answer.
What is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback is information retrieved from customers that reveals their perception of your company’s service or product and their level of satisfaction from doing business with your company. When business owners have this information, they can make changes in the business processes that will improve the customer experience and hopefully increase profits.
Why Is Customer Feedback Important?
You Learn How to Improve Your Products and Services
One of the most important reasons for obtaining customer feedback is to find out what is working and what is not working with your products and services. What is it customer want? What can provide them with a better experience? How can you fulfill their needs and meet their expectations? Customer feedback will provide these answers so you can tailor your company’s products and services to meet the needs of your customers. A happy customer becomes a loyal customer that can offer you repeat business and also spread the word to friends and family about how pleasant their experience was with your company.
Your Customers Will Know That You Care
Customers want to feel important, and when you ask them for their feedback, you are making them feel important. It is clear to them that their opinion matters and might even be instrumental enough to cause a positive change in your business practices. That’s powerful! For example, a customer indicates their annoyance with having to provide the same information, over and over, every time they have to speak with a new agent. This bit of knowledge may inspire you to create a system that allows every agent your customer has contact with to already have that pertinent information in front of them. When customers complain about this and you change the methods of your system, the customer knows that you listened and took action for them.
Your Business Will Retain Its Customers
When you listen to your customers and elevate their level of customer satisfaction by improving your service or product, you will be keeping the customer and they will continue patronizing your business in the future. Once a customer has a good experience with a business, they feel that their spending dollars bought them value. And when customers feel that way, there is less of a chance they will shop around in the future for the same or similar products and services. That is customer retention at its best.
Satisfied Customers Will Spread the Word to Other Potential Customers
This is one of the best reasons to have quality customer feedback. Have you ever gone on your social media channels and asked for an opinion on a certain kind of restaurant or if anyone knows a good painter? People love recommending a person or business who provided good and satisfying service or product. They like it even more if someone uses their recommendation and ends up having a pleasant experience. Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool and can do wonders for your business.
But be careful because people absolutely love to trash a business where they had an unpleasant experience. “I’ll never go there again!” And others really do listen to these negative reviews and won’t go near a business because of a negative review or opinion. So make sure whenever you have negative customer feedback, you do everything in your power to fix the problem and hopefully make that individual customer happy again.
Ways to Get Quality Customers Feedback
A traditional method of collecting customer feedback is the survey. Surveys consist of a series of questions where you can write out the answers, you can choose from a list of responses, or you rate your satisfaction level on a numerical scale, such as 1 – 5, for example. Some businesses will ask you to “stay on the line” after a phone call to participate in a verbal survey. Restaurants have been known to leave cards and pencils to fill out short and simple surveys.
Vote to Text
Also known as SMS surveys, customer feedback can be gathered from sending a series of text messages tailored to find specific information that will help improve customer satisfaction.
Recorded Service Calls
How many times have you been on the phone with a business and you heard a recording say, “This call is being recorded to improve customer service.” It’s a common business practice to have customer service calls randomly picked and analyzed.
Follow up Emails
After a service has been provided or a product was purchased, it is common to send a follow-up email to gather information on a customer’s satisfaction level.
Chance to Win a Prize
All kinds of stores will leave a phone number on the receipt that a customer can call to participate in a survey. By doing this, the customer is automatically entered into a drawing for some monetary amount or a discount as a prize for participating.
Social Media Channels
Socially channels are good forums to read reviews from others and to leave your own customer feedback.
Activity from Your Analytics
You can use your analytics and see what users have been doing. What are they looking at? Why are they quickly leaving a certain page? You won’t be looking at what a specific user has been doing as much as you’ll be looking at trends that people will be following.
Business Survey Software
The peer-to-peer review site, G2, reports that the “Best Survey Software for Small Businesses in 2020” included the following: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Google Surveys, Typeform, Qualtrics Core XM, Zoho Survey, Doodle, SurveySparrow, SurveyGizmo, and Nextiva.
If you think you don’t need customer feedback because you have all of your bases covered, you’re wrong. Feedback is crucial. When you know what your customers want, like, or don’t like, you can tailor your business to cater to their needs and desires and ultimately increase profits. So find out what is best for you and your business, and start gathering your customer’s feedback.