Your customers can help you to know how, when, and where to grow your business. Gathering customer feedback and listening to how your customers feel about your products, services, and brand can help you quickly identify what you are doing right and where you can improve.
When gathering customer feedback, you’ll want to make sure you get raw, unfiltered opinions.
Here are some ways you can encourage your customers to give you feedback:
Whether a survey be given via email or phone, this can be a great way to get guided feedback from your customers. When determining survey questions, be aware of how you frame them. Make sure they aren’t loaded to sway feedback one way or the other. Questions should be open ended: vague enough so that the customer can freely give their honest thoughts, but specific enough that a customer can give feedback about a specific product/service/topic.
Social Platform Reviews
If you have a business page on Facebook or your business is listed on Google, your customers will be able to leave you reviews. Encourage your followers to review your business online. Try to address each review—good or bad—by responding professionally. When you engage with reviews online, it shows your current and potential customers that you are responsive and care about what they have to say. If a customer leaves a review that is vague or unclear, don’t be afraid to respectfully ask for more feedback or clarification.
Other Review Platforms (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.)
There are many other platforms that allow customers to leave reviews about your business. Be aware of all the places customers are reviewing your business. Be as responsive as possible with these reviews to show your customers you really care.
Host an Event
If you have a new product or location making a debut, host an event where customers can get an exclusive sneak preview. You’ll be able to gauge initial thoughts on a small scale and course correct from there if needed.
With any feedback channel, you can incentivize customers to give reviews or take surveys by offering free products, gift cards, discounts, or services. This creates a goodwill gesture in the eyes of the customer and you’ll be able to get a larger quantity of feedback.
What to Do When You Receive Feedback
Now that you have customer feedback, what do you do next? Firstly, take a look at the overall sentiment towards your brand. Is it positive or negative? Remember to take negative reviews with a grain of salt. People are more likely to complain if they had a bad experience. Next, look for any trends. Do people really like a certain product? Do people rave about the quick response time when they have questions? Do people dislike that they have to wait 3 weeks for an item to be shipped? Take a piece of paper and make two columns—positive and negative. Categorize these trends. For the positive trends, keep it up and consider how you can expand on what you are doing well. For the negative trends, think of ways you can combat bad experiences in the future. You can also look for trends in things like age, gender, demographics, etc to better define your audience.
Customer feedback can dramatically improve your business. So, gather as much of it as you can!
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.