Customer feedback is essential for determining how customers feel about your products or services. It also gives you insight into what your competitors do extremely well and where they can improve. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce website, create a solid system for collecting and reviewing customer feedback. Here are three simple tips for collecting feedback from current and former customers.
1. Avoid Lengthy Surveys
Many companies use lengthy surveys to gather customer feedback, and customers typically fill them out quickly and reluctantly to receive a promised reward, such as a discount or free item. Some customers don't fill them out at all, as surveys are often tedious and time-consuming. Find an easier way to gather feedback from customers.
Net Promoter Score programs use a single question and an open response field format to collect feedback. Consider using this type of program and asking questions such as "How likely are you to recommend our service to others?" or "What do you enjoy most about using our product?" Customers can write as little or as much as they want, and they can still receive a reward for their efforts.
2. Solicit Honest Feedback
Some customers embellish when providing written feedback, believing this tactic is necessary to receive the promised reward. Encourage customers to be as honest as possible when completing customer feedback forms. Assure customers they'll still receive a reward as promised, even if their feedback is negative.
Another way to get honest feedback is to simply talk to customers. If you come across a regular shopper during your workday, spark up a brief conversation. Thank the customer for his loyalty, and then ask questions such as "What sets our company apart from our competitors?" or "What can we do to improve our products or services?" Listen intently as the customer expresses his feelings about your business, and be willing to offer some type of compensation if the customer had a negative experience.
3. Take Action
Customer feedback is used to measure customer satisfaction, so it's important to take it seriously. Consider which aspects of the customer experience you want to improve, and come up with a plan of action. If multiple customers have a similar complaint, fix the problem as quickly as possible. Regular customers pay attention to how quickly companies resolve issues, and fixing problems fast is the best way to retain customers and attract new ones.
Don't wait for customers to complain about a product or service before engaging with them. Solicit customer feedback on a regular basis to ensure your new customers keep coming back and your long-term customers remain satisfied. Make the process of collecting feedback simple and even beneficial for customers, and do your best to take action to resolve issues and improve your business.
Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net