The Importance of Customer Feedback to Your BusinessSeptember 26, 2016 Peter A. Liefer II
Much has been said about “customer is king,” but did you know that this analogy can actually help boost your business?
Customer feedback is among the most taken for granted facets of the business that many businessmen would rather ignore than to spend resources on. See, gathering customer feedback can be a tiresome and thankless job, what with the many survey forms you have to print out only to have one or two back. Your staff would also have to kowtow to customers to try to get to their better side, although admittedly the customer’s satisfaction should be foremost in your staff’s mind. Make no doubts about it: trying to get customer feedback is sometimes difficult and frustrating.
However, this method actually offers several benefits to your business. If done correctly, customer feedback would be able to help you transform your services and products to better fit the needs of your clients. Here are some of the reasons through which you can do so:
Customer feedback helps you identify weak spots
By asking your clients what they liked and hated about their experience, you would be able to find weak spots in your service and address them. There have been countless instances wherein managers thought that the service was flawless from start to finish, only to find out from a customer’s feedback that there was a glaring error they have overlooked. By listening to your customers, you would be able to remedy a problem before it can start to eat away at your business.
Customer feedback helps you improve your products and services
By listening to your customers, you would then be able to improve your products and services and be able to give them exactly what they want. This has a direct impact on your bottom line, as you would be guaranteed to see an upwards improvement in the consumption of your products, since your customers have stipulated that this is the thing that they want. How so?
For example, a coffee shop that sells traditional cakes with their coffee might be missing out by not listening to a customer who said he would want to eat matcha cakes. On the other hand, the café across the street was given the same sentiment and thought it was a great idea – they then started providing matcha cakes. The result then is instantaneous: those who wanted matcha cakes transferred to the second café, leaving the first one with fewer loyal customers.
Customer feedback helps you measure customer satisfaction and improve customer retention
Likewise, it is not important that you provide good service, you have to continually improve your customer’s satisfaction too. Asking for customer feedback is very helpful in terms of finding out what you can do to make the service more satisfactory for your customers.
Once you start listening to your customers, particularly those who gave high scores to your products, then you would be able to glean more information about your services and improve them to increase customer satisfaction. The more satisfied your customers are, the more likely they are to become advocates for your brand and be more likely to refer you to their colleagues and family.
Customer feedback gives you tangible data to make better decisions about your business
Finally, listening to your customers can have the added benefit of saving you money in the long run, particularly in terms of killing off products that aren’t doing as well as you thought they would be. Think of the customer’s insight as your own personal market research, more so in terms of what works and what doesn’t for your business. You would then be able to make informed business decisions based on the feedback you receive from your clientele, and from then on act from them.
These are just some of the evident reasons that make customer feedback integral to your business. Finding out what it can do for you is all well and good, but how do you get this information in the first place? Here are some options to consider if you want to get customer feedback.
Give out survey forms
Whether it is a physical form your customers have to fill in in the shop or a digital form that you send out to your clients after their experience, make sure that the form is concise and direct to the point. Also, make it a point to add “Thank you for your feedback! We will be responding to your concerns within 24 hours,” or a similar promise that your clients would hear back from you. However, once you make this promise, ensure that you have the means to follow through, as there would be few things as annoying to clients as having the service provider back on its words, no matter how simple the matter may be.
Never be intrusive
Whatever you do, do not call your clients out of the blue to ask them for their feedback about their recent experience. Instead, ask them politely how they would want to be contacted – via email, SMS, or a phone call – and when they would want to be contacted. This way, your clients would feel that you have their best interest at hearts as you would never be imposing on their time – you would simply be following their request as to when they should be contacted.
Open lines of communication with your client
Finally, make it easy for your clients to contact you. Have a dedicated phone line or email address whose sole purpose is to respond to customer feedback and complaints. Once your clients know that you are actually listening to them, they would be keen to let you know what they think – and you wouldn’t have to ask them for feedback in the first place. Display this contact information in a prominent location on your website or in your store, so that your clients would immediately know how to contact you in case they have something to share.
It goes without saying that customer feedback is one of your best tools when it comes to improving your services. With these tips, you’re hopefully on your way to maximizing it.