Customer feedback is a critical aspect of every business operation. Whether in a small business or a large enterprise, customer feedback is a powerful guide that gives vital insights into every part of a business. It helps the business owner understand their community's needs and contributes to the long-term profitability of a business.
And since almost 9 out of 10 customers are influenced by reviews when making their buying decision, it's crucial for businesses to determine their customers' needs and meet their expectations accurately. Unfortunately, collecting customer feedback can be overwhelming since there are multiple ways to connect with customers.
In this guide, we will therefore learn about customer feedback, its importance, and the best ways to collect it.
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What is Customer Feedback?
In essence, customer feedback is the opinions and responses that customers give based on the quality of a product or service. It creates a perfect picture of how your customers perceive your brand. Businesses collect this information as a resource to measure the satisfaction level of their customers. Further, these opinions can be used to improve a business's performance, quality of goods and services, and customer interactions and stay ahead of your competition.
Why is Customer Feedback Important?
1. Listening to Customer Feedback Makes Customers Feel Valued
One thing's for sure; everyone has an opinion. And when you ask your customers about their views and act on them accordingly, they feel more involved and connected to your business. It makes them feel almost like they are part of your creative team. That, in turn, builds a positive customer relationship, potentially driving more sales in the future.
2. Customer Testimonials Improve Brand Credibility
Customer feedback is an excellent source of testimonials, which helps solidify a brand's credibility and social proof. Before making a purchase, most potential customers will research your company and read customer reviews.
Social proof showcases how good your products and services are to potential customers. It also shows real people have used your products and services. That's why positive feedback is vital to the success of every small business.
But while at it, keep in mind that there are specific rules around testimonials, so make sure you have permission to use them.
3. It Helps You Improve Your Product to Fit Customer's Needs More
Although you and your team might have researched your product widely and discussed it a couple of times, there's still a chance you might not have seen through certain imperfections. And that's where customer feedback comes in!
Customer feedback helps you discover what people like most about your product or service, how it suits them, what they dislike and why. You can improve your product to fit their needs with that information.
Ways to Get Customer Feedback
One of the most crucial elements of acquiring customer feedback is consent. Therefore, you must be clear to your customers on what they are commenting on, and their comments may help improve the product or service.
There are various ways to collect customer feedback. We'll delve more into that in the section below. Some methods will gather data points, while others focus on in-depth feedback. These methods include:
1. Customer Feedback Surveys
Surveys are the primary way of gathering customer feedback, and it's pretty easy to use. More importantly, printed surveys are recommended when dealing with storefronts, and customers can leave their thoughts in the suggestion box. Online surveys can be printed onto receipts or sent through emails.
For example, Munbyn started a poll in their email to see which are the favorite winter label stickers for their customers.
The best way to ensure you get the most out of the surveys is to tailor them for a larger audience. That way, you can quickly gather all data. Don't try and make your audience answer all questions about your business. Instead, use surveys to gather insights on a new aspect of your business and use the information to make necessary adjustments to your products and services.
2. Pop-ups on Your Website
Pop-ups on your website are an effective way of collecting customer feedback online. Digital feedback forms such as pop-ups show how the customer feedback collection has significantly changed over the years. Today, adding a brief pop-up form to every customer interaction on your site or even a marketing message is more straightforward.
These can be actual questions or smiley face ratings that you can use to scale the experience rate. Each question should be aimed at gathering data on specific parts of your business.
3. Social Media Polls
Social media metrics are highly focused on engagement; hence these platforms offer a variety of tools that can be used to gather information from your customers. Almost every social media platform your company uses has a standard polls section where users can answer questions.
You can immediately see the poll results using the built-in tools on social media. However, most marketers will advise you to use this option sparingly. That's because these tools can affect the metrics of your company's social media algorithm leading to skewed data results. Typically, the people on your social media may or may not be customers of your product or service.
Tips to Observe When Collecting Customer Feedback
Now that you know the best ways to collect customer feedback, we'll discuss some basic rules you should observe when collecting customer feedback. That will help you maximize the amount of feedback you collect and its usefulness.
i. Make it Simple for Customers to Complete
When collecting customer feedback, remember that customers easily get overwhelmed when asked many questions. They won't do it if it takes them more than a minute. Therefore, ensure your customer feedback collection mechanism is straightforward and easy to understand.
ii. Ask Questions that Meet a Specific Goal
While keeping things short and simple, ensure your questions are geared toward meeting a specific goal. For example, you can ask your customer's opinions on some of your newly released products. You want to ensure you get all the information and data that will be useful to your company in the most straightforward way.
iii. Ask Open-minded Questions
When talking to your customers, open-ended dialogues are your best friend. Such questions allow your customers to dig deeper into their experiences in more detail. Also, open-minded questions give you an excellent opportunity to gain new perspectives from your clients as they are less biased and leading.
iv. Deal With Negative Feedback ASAP
On top of collecting data, you must also act accordingly on the collected feedback. Instead of taking negative feedback as an attack on your brand, use that opportunity to improve areas where your customers are dissatisfied. Once you've achieved the desired improvements, communicate the good news to the customers; otherwise, they might feel ignored.
v. Respect Your Customer's Privacy
Customer privacy has become increasingly important since privacy laws emerged in the European Union and California. Therefore, if you have customers in such areas, familiarize yourself with their privacy laws. That's because some privacy laws may impact how you collect and store customer feedback. Always check privacy laws governing a specific locality before collecting and analyzing customer feedback.