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Learning to love customer feedback
While the saying “the customer is always right” isn’t always right, every business owner needs to know that their customers are happy – and if not, why not.
Why you should care
Learning to love customer feedback is one of the best ways to keep your business healthy. You’ll be able to pre-empt potential backlash against a new product or company change, understand if a large percentage of customers share this negative sentiment or determine that it’s just a disgruntled few, as well as prioritise the items that are most important to focus on for company growth. Or even, just be alerted of to just one unhappy customer and have the opportunity to make amends before they leave and tell others...Encouraging customer feedback can also lead to stronger relationships with your clients. They’ll know that you are listening and will love you for it.
How to get it
- Empower customer-facing employees: Small to medium businesses have an advantage over online companies in that they often deal with customers directly. Create a culture of listening and learning in your company so that employees are always open to hearing customer feedback. Give them the autonomy to act on negative feedback like offering a discount or allowing returns if the situation calls for it. Your customers will be grateful for the consideration.
- Do the after sale call: Time is not always a factor we all have plenty of, but this is one strategy the payment forward will be worth it. Call all your new customers, after you have delivered the service or product and have a reason for the call - whether it be a great tip or just to check that all went as well as expected. It will let you uncover anything immediately that you need to work on, but for the many that are really happy about your service - it will make them want to tell more about you (especially if you mention it...)
- Conduct surveys: Make an effort to regularly check in with your customers. Provide a number of feedback channels so they can contact you in the manner they prefer. Some might like to tweet you or comment on Facebook, others prefer to speak over the phone, while some might like to fill out a quick multi-question online survey. If you’re working with limited resources, try automating your survey, by setting it up as a trigger to go out to all new customers x days after they come on board.
- Monitor activity: Following customer activity online can be a good way to understand what’s working or what’s not. Do customers pull out of a sale on a certain page? Is one product more popular than another? Is one of your online resources shared among friends more than others? Recording this data with Google Analytics is a useful way to track growth over time, remove potential hurdles to a sale and increase the types of activities that lead to success.
It isn’t always easy to hear negative feedback from your customers, but it’s crucial to achieving business growth. If you listen carefully and handle it in the right way, you will end up with happier customers and a boost to the bottom line. What’s not to love?