Every business has one goal: to make customers happy. After all, without happiness, you’re not likely to make many sales. But keeping customers happy is easier said than done. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult aspects of business.
Lots of organizations make a simple mistake; believing that a strong product is enough to keep customers content. There’s no denying that having a strong range of products helps. But if a customer’s journey ends at the point of purchase, you’re not making the most of shoppers.
Your goal should be to retain customers so they shop with you again. For that, you need to make sure that customers are happy throughout their journey. Here, we’ll talk about the benefits of collecting customer feedback. Whether it’s helping to improve user experiences or offering better products, feedback can be transformational.
Image sourced from superoffice.com
Each time a customer shares their views, whether positive or negative, it’s classed as feedback.
Feedback can take multiple forms. You might send surveys, or ring customers after they’ve purchased a product. Or perhaps you speak to customers directly in the form of a focus group.
Of course, not all feedback is solicited. Some will call your business to leave opinions directly. Other customers will send their thoughts via social media.
Whatever method your customers prefer you need to make it easy and free for customers to contact you. For example, it’s a good idea to invest in toll-free numbers. This ensures that they aren’t charged for leaving feedback.
It’s also important to note that not all feedback will be sent to you. When customers review your products or services on other websites online, it should still be classed as feedback.
Why is collecting customer feedback so important? Here are 8 reasons why you should listen to what your customers are saying.
Every successful business collects feedback. Why? Because it can provide a direct link to the thoughts of your customers. Often, when there is an issue, multiple customers will come forward with the same problems. This allows you to get to the bottom of issues before they become too damaging.
Let’s look at an imaginary (but realistic) scenario. Multiple customers have complained about a fault with a new product. Because you are paying attention to customer feedback, you can quickly issue a recall. Customers can be given replacements, and you can ensure that no more faulty items are manufactured.
If you hadn’t been paying attention, the results could have been far worse. More customers would have been issued faulty products. The price of a recall would also have been far more costly.
Ultimately every piece of feedback, whether positive or negative, is valuable. Sadly, too often businesses shy away from feedback. These businesses often don’t last long – an unhappy customer base isn’t a recipe for longevity.
Whether you welcome feedback or not, customers will expect you to listen. In fact, 37% of customers anticipate a response within a day of a complaint being sent on social media. As many as 28% expect you to respond within an hour.
Put yourself in the average customer’s shoes for a moment. Let’s imagine that you’re unable to access a certain page on a website and complete a purchase. You send an email registering your frustration to the company.
There are now two possible outcomes. The first is that the company doesn’t respond. You are still unable to complete your purchase. In this scenario, a customer isn’t likely to be happy. Nor are they likely to attempt to purchase other products from you in the future.
The second outcome is that the company responds, acknowledging its mistake. You find that the page is fixed and you’re able to make a purchase. Unlike the first outcome, the customer is much more likely to be happy. Their frustrations have been listened to, and there’s a higher chance that they’ll return as a customer.
Customers expect their voices to be heard. This means that you should take an interest in all feedback. You’ll need to facilitate customers being able to voice their opinions. For example, a virtual receptionist feature will help ensure that messages are always directed to the right place.
By actively showing that you’re listening, you’re boosting customer loyalty.
Growth is vital for the survival of your business. But growth only happens when you successfully introduce new customers. Finding new customers, however, can be difficult, especially for small businesses.
You might not have the budget to spend on large marketing campaigns. And, if a campaign fails, you’ve lost money with little to show in return. Collecting customer feedback can be a useful alternative for growing your customer base.
You might be asking ‘how?’. As you improve your business based on feedback, customer loyalty will increase. The more loyal your customers, the more likely they are to recommend you to their friends and family. To put it in a nutshell, the more effort you put into self improvement, the more your customer base will grow.
What’s a surefire way of keeping customers happy? One way is by continuously improving your products. Every item that you produce provides you with the opportunity to collect feedback. This information can be valuable for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, it addresses the needs of your existing customer base. Any new products that you produce will incorporate their feedback. This increases the likelihood that they will shop with you again in the future.
Secondly, you’re likely to be producing products that reach more people. With fewer faults and more favorable reviews, new customers are likely to take an interest in your product.
So, why not release a survey each time you produce a new product? By collecting customer feedback, you’ll be more suited to create better products.
With a net promoter score (NPS), you can get a better understanding of how customers view your business. NPS tells you the likelihood of a customer recommending your business. To find your NPS, you’ll need to survey your customers.
Ask them to assign a score (between 1-10) for the likelihood of them recommending you to a friend or relative. Scores between 1-6 should be classed as unlikely, scores between 7-8 as passive, and scores of 9-10 as likely.
To calculate NPS, subtract the number of positive reviews, from the number of negative. This will leave you with a percentage score. The higher the score the better.
The quality of your decision-making will massively impact your success as a business. Of course, making important decisions can be a gamble. A strategy might not play out in the way you expect. A new line of products might not have the impact that you had intended. A useful way to lessen some of the risks of decision-making, is by looking at data.
The right feedback strategy can provide a clearer path forward for your business. We have discussed how feedback can help you in your local market. You’ll create better products and offer better experiences for customers.
But feedback can also be useful when growing your business. As you enter new unfamiliar markets for the first time, you won’t have the same level of knowledge. Feedback from locals can help you to create better strategies for product creation and marketing. This provides you with a much stronger footing as you expand into different markets.
As we’ve established, not all feedback is direct. Sometimes customers will want to voice their opinions online in the form of a review. Of course, not all reviews will be positive, but every review can be helpful. The more people that are talking about your products online, the more your name will spread.
Obviously, it’s better to have positive feedback. People will be more likely to buy your products if they are widely positive. Ironically, the only way to increase the number of positive reviews is by listening to feedback.
It’s easy to write unhappy customers off. Why spend resources on customers that aren’t likely to bring value to your brand? Some customers are unlikely to change their minds. Others, however, will be open to dialogue.
Feedback provides dissatisfied customers with space to air their annoyance. To bring these customers back on board, you need to prove that you are listening to what they are saying. For that, they’ll need evidence. They should be able to see that you are putting words to action and working to overcome their concerns.
To avoid missing out on any feedback, it might be a good idea to invest in additional software. For example, the ability to send voicemails to email, can help ensure that feedback is logged even during busier times.
Changing customers’ minds might take a little extra time, but the rewards are clear. You’ll retain more customers and build a more positive name for your business.
There’s no denying the importance of customer feedback. It’s the key to keeping customers happy. But if this is the case, why do so many businesses fail to listen to customers?
Probably because collecting and implementing feedback takes time. Businesses would rather spend time developing new products or refining their marketing. But these businesses are missing a crucial point. To do either of these things you need to know what customers are thinking. For that, you need feedback.
If you get to the heart of your customer’s concerns, you can start making improvements. So, whilst gathering and implementing feedback might be time-consuming, the benefits are endless.
It all starts by finding the right survey. So, what are you waiting for? Starting collecting customer feedback today!
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