For every single one of us running a company, the one thing that shouldn’t escape our clutches is suitable feedback from the customer. We all know how important customer feedback is, but getting said feedback can be a challenge in itself. You may take the approach that no news is good news, but customers, as a general rule don’t tend to give feedback on their experience, instead opting to not do business with the service provider again. So not only have you been unable to learn from your mistakes, but you have lost revenue as a result. And not to forget that with every unsatisfied customer that doesn’t complain, they are very likely to tell other people, and so it begins, the slippery slope of bad word of mouth about your company. Getting feedback is vital for every business to heal and grow. So what are the best ways to improve every aspect of your business but also getting that detailed and credible feedback you desire?
Call Your Customers
This is a very personalized method to get feedback and can generate a wide variety of responses. The advantages of doing this is that you get feedback straight from the customer, but it’s also a great way to gauge if the customer had a good experience or not purely by listening to their tone of voice. The trick to eliciting the right response from the customer is not to dress up the call as a mere formality or make it sound like a sales call. If you can be earnest in your intention to get detailed feedback from the customer, you will have a unique insight into their opinions, not just of of the product and the customer service, but also the continuity of the business.
The overriding positive of an email survey is that you can get great detail on the overall shopping experience. If you email a new customer, rather than a repeat customer, you can get vital tidbits on the small details, such as the client’s motivation for choosing the store, how they found the store (such as through social media or via a search engine), giving general feedback, as well as the service the customer experienced overall. If you can get as much detail as possible, then you can apply these results to specific metric and analytical processes so you can improve your customer service. There are specific frameworks that businesses can apply to their results to better understand the customer such as RATER and Net Promoter Score. For those wondering what is Net Promoter Score, there is plenty of information through various customer service blogs and services. The important thing to bear in mind when you are asking a client for feedback is that it needs to be presented in a way that shows that it is for the interests of the customer and not just cross selling or for marketing purposes.
Create An Online Community
It’s essentially the same thing as a forum or a small version of a social network. If you can get the ball rolling, you will be able to acquire some fantastic customer feedback, but the downside is that while this method is easy to implement, it needs moderating on a regular basis. As the age of social media has shown that you need to be up to date every minute of every day, you would need somebody to moderate the community closely. But by creating an online forum, this will vastly increase your user engagement and strengthen your relationship with the customer. You could also encourage your customers to share their positive experiences on the forum. Because of tools like Instagram, it’s proving to be an invaluable way to flaunt customer satisfaction, and if your customers are raving about a specific product, then why shouldn’t you show pictures of them with the products purchased from your business? If you don’t know where to start, there are tools you can use to build online communities such as UserVoice and Get Satisfaction.
Monitoring Social Media
A logical extension of the moderation of online communities would be to monitor the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Social media is a fantastic tool for getting effective feedback plus it’s also a great method for stopping bad publicity, if you handle it right. One simple negative comment about your services can spread like wildfire, so you need to jump on the issue as quick as possible to appease the customer and turn them from a dissatisfied customer to a satisfied one. If you can acquire the manpower to monitor social media constantly, this will be the best way to prevent bad comments spreading but there are tools you can use such as HootSuite as well as many others.
Every business that’s trying to engage with the customer in one way or another is always trying to make itself appear more human rather than impersonal. A lot of online stores look similar to each other, which is likely to have the customer believe you are the same as everybody else. It is vital that you give your site a human touch so you can increase the amount of feedback given rather than the customer feeling they are talking to a robot. A lot of companies are now using the approach of having a real or fictional person symbolize the business brand and this increases the level of intimacy between the customer and the company, meaning they will be more inclined to give feedback.
There are numerous other methods you can implement to get immediate feedback, such as live chat support as well as web forms, or even asking for feedback on the order confirmation page of your website, or using polls. But the fact of the matter is that with every bit of feedback you get, you need to make sure that it’s productive and detailed enough that you can use the salient points to create a brand new experience for your customer that won’t be a repeat of what they’ve already gone through. It’s in this instance that you need to be forthright and earnest in your desire for ways to improve your business. Because, after all, this is the only way you will really find out if your business has got what it takes to last as long as possible.