What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication. Source: Anonymous

Research published by Harvard Business Review found that just asking customers for feedback is enough to keep them from churning. Yet, how many times do you ask a customer for feedback? Do you wait for satisfied customers to rave to you then ask for a testimonial? If a customer gets to the negotiate stage (SPANCOP) but then fails to purchase are you speaking to them to find out why? Do you check in with customers who purchased from you many months ago to get feedback on your product? Even for those businesses whose sales model is one-time purchase e.g. clothing embroidery or wedding photographer this approach can go a long way. Read on to find out why.

 

Purpose of Customer Feedback

One alarming fact shows that 82% of customers have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor experience. This could be before, during or after sales. The customer experience doesn’t end once the sale is completed.

Customer feedback is an essential business element that can help with your business goals in the immediate, medium and long-term, e.g. product map. The feedback that customers give you can help your business to keep moving forward.

 

Ways to Collect Customer Feedback

There can be many different methods depending on the size of business you are. This can range from one-time purchases to repeat sales. Read through the list and see how many of them you do or have tried:

  1. Face-to-face conversations
  2. Telephone calls
  3. Your own website
  4. Testimonials
  5. Google Analytics
  6. Social media monitoring e.g. Twitter, Facebook
  7. Reviews
  8. Comment boxes/forms
  9. Online surveys
  10. In-app surveys
  11. Online polls

 

Using Customer Feedback

For every customer that has a bad experience they will tell 15 people, on average. This is most certainly a situation you want to avoid.

With the rise of social media, this data has inflated into hundreds, for example the average Twitter user has 707 followers. This is a large database of people to share with including frustrations over a poor experience. Their followers may like the tweet or re-tweet it which then posts it on their followers’ feeds and so on. It’s not impossible to imagine that in one day a thousand people can see a tweet giving negative feedback on a company.

In this scenario you don’t want to shy away from the negative feedback but do as the large brands do. Apologise for the problem and in a reassuring tone ask for them to direct message (DM) you so you can look fully into the situation.

With the feedback you have gathered you can use it to feed into your business goals.

 

Top Tip #1: Use feedback to improve your product.

Your customers understand your products just as much as you do. They can identify the ‘pain points’ of your products as they use them. Use this feedback to change and improve your products for the better. Find out what works by asking for all feedback: good and bad.

Top Tip #2: Act on negative feedback to prevent churn.

Negative feedback can be daunting, even terrifying for small businesses. Knowing how to approach the customer and deal with the feedback is a skill to learn. The customers who give negative feedback are valuable as they are offering you insight. Ignoring negative feedback will have a snowball effect. Showing these customers that you care goes a long way to fostering a long-lasting relationship. Take the time to apologise, understand their problem and work on a solution that makes them happy.

Top Tip #3: Nurture advocates by seeking customer feedback.

Gathering customer feedback is a really easy way to see which of your customers are the happiest. You can take your business to the next level by turning your happiest customers into advocates of your business. Recommendations and raves from these customers to others in their network meetings, in a referral opportunity is a great form of marketing for your business.

 

For more awesome information about how sales in your business strategy can be a key driver for business growth, be sure to keep an eye on our blog. It’s full of brilliant advice and actionable steps to help you become better at sales. We hope you enjoy!