The Importance of Customer Feedback and How to Obtain it
Companies, especially start-ups, strive for continuous growth in order to stay afloat despite the economic and political crises in today’s world. Just like a student at school or a new employee, one of the most important ways of growing is by understanding what you are doing right, as well as what can be improved. Company growth should be no different, and understanding the way your clients perceive your business, what they think is not working, and opinions of what can be done better, is a key way to sustaining your business. Such customer feedback not only provides you and your business with a deep understanding and insight of how your target market perceives you and your products or services, but makes sure that you continue to move in the correct direction.
As simple and obvious as all this may sound, obtaining customer feedback that is direct and unbiased may not always be as easy as it seems. This could result from the way obtaining feedback is administered, as customers can amend their responses depending on by whom and when the information is requested.
If your business needs that extra boost and is uncertain on which direction to go, here are a few tips on how to obtain feedback from your customers that will push you in the right direction.
Build a relationship based on trust
Like any relationship, marital or otherwise, trust or lack of it, is one of the main factors that sees a relationship flourish or dissipate, respectively. Building trust with your clients is no different, and once there is trust, they will, in turn, be loyal. By building trust with a client, they are more likely to be honest with you back and provide effective feedback as a way to help you grow and see you do well.
Not just one method of customer feedback
Your clients may come from different backgrounds, be of different ages or simply have different preferences. This is why you should provide your clients with multiple ways to get in touch with you. Whilst some will be happy to fill in a survey, others will simply ignore it. They might instead prefer to provide feedback via social media, whilst others would prefer to discuss it in person. Whatever the ways you offer your customers to provide feedback, make sure it’s easy and hassle-free.
Feedback is not as effective if it is vague or unusable. If you know which areas you would like to improve but are not sure how, ask your clients for specific pieces of information that you can actually apply.
Organise a Focus Group
Sometimes, the best feedback comes once you dig deep. A customer focus group can not only uncover feedback through discussion that your clients themselves hadn’t thought of before, but can also stimulate a wave of ideas for improvement.
In today’s world, competition is present in any industry. Allow your customers to help you analyse what they like from other companies in direct competition. Don’t copy though, it’s a cheap way to market yourself, and your customers will pick up on it too. Instead, learn from them, see how their strategy can be improved, and give it a twist to make it your own.
Offer incentives for customer feedback
Customers may be more inclined to offer their feedback if they have an incentive that can really help them. Perhaps it’s a discount on their next purchase, a fast-track pass or a free month’s worth of services. If the incentive is effective, then the feedback will most probably be so too.
Customer feedback: Get it while it’s hot
Try to implement methods of receiving feedback whilst the customer’s experience is still fresh in their minds. Whether it is a representative asking them as soon as their transaction is done, or a request for feedback with an invoice, it’s better to have the feedback sooner rather than later.
8. Start as you mean to go on
Why not ask clients for feedback surrounding their expectations when they sign up for a service? They may be more inclined to give their suggestions in an effort to be serviced to their liking.
When building your company business plan, make sure to involve your customers, after all, it is them who will make or break your business. Always be consistent with asking for feedback, and once in hand, make sure you use it.
Feedback is just one of the ways you can use to safeguard your business. Good business insurance cover is another. Ask Laferla for the different business insurance packages available, and we’ll direct you to the right policy whether you’re an SME or even a large firm.