If you are doing something great or falling short of expectations, your customers are going to let you know about it; in fact, 85% of customers are likely to provide feedback after a good experience, and 81% provide it if they’ve had a negative interaction with your brand.
However, if you want to use this feedback to improve customer satisfaction and support your business goals, you need mechanisms for collecting customer feedback. Here’s everything you need to know about customer feedback collection, including why it matters, how to make the most of it, and what hurdles you’ll encounter.
Why Gathering Customer Feedback Matters
Running a business is a bit like juggling — you’ve got a lot of things to keep in the air. It’s easy to let something like collecting customer feedback slip down your to-do list. But here’s the thing: getting customer feedback is super important. It gives you a chance to learn what they like and what they don’t.
Think of feedback as a secret tool that lets you peek into your customers’ minds. Knowing what they enjoy or what bugs them helps you make your products or services even better. It’s all about making what you offer align with what they want. And when you get it right, it’s a win-win: your customers are happier, and your business grows.
How to Get Customer Feedback
There are lots of great ways to gather customer feedback. Some of the top options include:
Customer Feedback Tools
Customer feedback tools come in various forms, including online surveys, feedback forms on your website, social media polls, and analytics solutions. They make the process of collecting feedback systematic and organized. Generally, you’ll need to use a combination of customer feedback tools to develop a holistic view of the customer experience.
Sometimes, the old-fashioned way works best, especially when customers visit brick-and-mortar stores. Talk to your customers directly, either in person or over the phone, and ask them how their experience went. This approach can provide more in-depth insights than surveys, as they can elaborate on their experience.
Watch how customers interact with your product or service. Observation can sometimes tell you things that customers themselves might not be aware of. You can also use observations on social media platforms to gauge sentiments about your product or brand.
Requesting Feedback From Customers
Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. Whether it’s through an email, a pop-up on your website, or at the end of a transaction, make it a point to ask your customers to share their thoughts.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Regularly conducting a customer satisfaction survey is a great way to measure how your customers feel about your business. This can be done annually, bi-annually, or even quarterly, depending on your business needs.
When using this approach, ensure your survey is standardized. Using the same survey during each assessment period can help you track customer satisfaction trends over time.
Best Practices in Collecting Customer Feedback
When collecting customer feedback, make sure that you:
- Make It Easy: The simpler it is to give feedback, the more likely customers are to do it.
- Be Proactive: Reach out for feedback — don’t wait for customers to come to you.
- Offer Incentives: Incentives like discounts or freebies can encourage customers to provide feedback.
- Always Follow Up: If a customer takes the time to provide feedback, make sure to follow up.
- Act on the Feedback: Use the insights you gather from feedback to make impactful changes in your business.
Chances are that you are already using some of these best practices. Even so, you should periodically review your feedback collection strategies and ensure you aren’t unintentionally adding friction to the customer journey.
Challenges in Collecting Customer Feedback and How to Overcome Them
Gathering customer feedback can be quite challenging. Some hurdles you might encounter include:
Low Response Rates
This is a common challenge. To overcome it, make sure you’re reaching out through the right channels and offering incentives. Also, make it easy for customers to leave feedback. Don’t require them to answer a dozen or more short-form responses. Instead, keep it simple by asking a few multiple-choice questions and giving them the option to leave more detailed feedback.
Sometimes, you might only hear from extremely satisfied or dissatisfied customers. Remember that SurveyMonkey stat mentioned above? Researchers also found that just 48% of customers were likely to leave feedback after an average experience. To counter this, reach out to a broad segment of your customer base to obtain a better sample.
Collecting customer feedback can sometimes result in data overload. Use customer feedback tools that help you organize, categorize, and analyze feedback data to obtain actionable insights.
Leveraging Customer Feedback to Improve Your Business
Once you have collected customer feedback, it’s time to put it to use. Analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. Are there common issues that many of your customers are facing? Is there a feature that they love? Use these insights to make improvements, develop new products, or even change your customer service approach.
When you apply customer feedback to your products, services, or business model, be vocal about it. Let your customers know what changes you’ve made, be clear that the changes were designed to better serve them, and find out how they feel about your efforts. Collecting feedback is a continuous process that helps you better understand your customers.
Build Lasting Relationships by Requesting Feedback From Customers
Collecting customer feedback is vital. By gathering feedback from your customers, you can better understand what they like, what they don’t, and how you can better tailor your products and services to their needs. It’s all about stepping into the mind of the consumer and delivering an experience that meets their expectations.
However, collecting customer feedback is only the beginning. Once you gather it, you’ll have to apply what you’ve learned in an impactful way. While you may not be able to accommodate every piece of customer feedback, demonstrating that you are listening and working to improve will go a long way in building brand loyalty and trust.
To learn more about collecting customer feedback and how a contact center can help, please contact us at Telecom, Inc. today!