Customer Feedback: Best Practices, Tips, & Tricks
Customer feedback is key for small businesses to thrive. You've likely heard that before, because feedback means insight. In the connected world, there are even more ways to solicit and use feedback to help your business. Here's more information on the best collection methods and ways feedback can benefit your business.
How to Collect Customer Feedback
Gaining product or service reviews, feedback, referrals, and more can be as simple as asking. You can do it digitally, verbally, or via snail mail. Keep reading for a more detailed list of ways you can request information from your customers.
Once customers have received their products, send an email with a link to leave a review. If your website has reviews built-in (or you use a plugin), send them there. If not, send them to any of the popular review sites.
There are plenty of free tools for creating surveys that you can send out to all of your customers. Make sure to say how long the survey will take in the email, and offer a small reward if possible – 10% off is a good place to start.
With high-value products and services, a verbal conversation may be the right choice. You want your level of service to match the value they paid. A conversation doesn't have to take long and can help ensure your customer is happy and you get the information you need to serve other customers better.
If you have a brick and mortar store or your demographic is easily accessible, go speak with them. People can be very forthcoming in person and provide more information than they would via another collection method. You're also able to respond with follow-up questions that provide additional insight.
Fostering communication among customers is a great way to get candid feedback. Put links across your website or in email communications. This will help users find support and share resources.
Add a "comment" option to the end of your blog or support articles. People may share different information when they think it's going to other customers versus the marketing team. They may include things they wish they knew or feedback on their experience using the product or service.
Product or service pages are a great place for questions and answers. Including a button for users to submit their input may drum up new feedback.
How to Respond to Customer Feedback
Answering online reviews, comments, and questions may seem daunting but it's crucial to maintain a healthy online presence and relationship with your customers. Read our best practises for handling customer feedback.
Tell your customer that you sincerely appreciate their feedback, then try to fix the problem to the best of your ability. Remember not to take feedback personally or type out a fueled response. Negative feedback may strike a cord, but it's important to write with a level-head. Try to stay helpful and friendly.
"Our strategy for handling negative feedback is simple: do right by our customers. Our customer service is an important part of our brand. Even if we may lose money in the process, we want people to leave us feeling like their concerns were heard and resolved."
— OnlineLabels.com CEO, Dave Carmany
Positive feedback means that someone was happy enough with your product or service to go out of their way and leave a review or comment. This is very exciting and you should respond as soon as possible with appreciation and a personal touch.
Customer Feedback Benefits
You can build a relationship that transcends the use of your product. Here are great ways you can use customer feedback to help your company.
Listening to your customers enables you to create a product or service that they'll actually want to buy. This can help ensure your end product is something that solves their problem or fulfils their need.
Improving your customer experience should be a primary reason you gather customer feedback. Ask your customers what would have made the process better or easier. Then use the insight to create a consistent, personalised experience.
Improve Customer Retention
A direct line of communication with your customers can help determine if they're unhappy with an aspect of your business. By listening to customers, you can right any wrongs and avoid customers leaving unhappy.
Brand advocates offer tremendous value at very little cost. When you gather feedback from your customers, advocates are the ones who give you high scores. Contact these customers and build stronger, mutually-beneficial relationships.
Uses for Customer Feedback
Use reviews, testimonials, and quotes in sales proposals, highlight them on your website, or display them on the walls of your office – however you feel is appropriate. Make sure potential customers know that your business or product is loved!
"Once you have the data, the key is to utilise it not only to your benefit, but for the customers' as well. For example, we use crowdsourcing as a way to collect information, then re-purpose that content as articles, videos, and FAQs to help other customers."
— OnlineLabels.com CEO, Dave Carmany
Though it may have been submitted by someone a million miles away, consumers identify and respect peer feedback. According to BrightLocal, 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% of those trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Get started collecting feedback from your customers today.