“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.”
– Jim Trinka and Les Wallace
Why do we want to get feedback from our customers? Customer feedback is crucial to your business, no matter the size. It can help manage your customer’s satisfaction with your service, tailor your products and services to provide the best to your customers and increase the overall satisfaction with your business.
It can be pretty tough to get customer feedback, particularly as time goes by, and while people are usually more eager to share their negative experiences, it can be trickier to get positive feedback off customers.
Positive customer feedback can help you know that you are on the right track with your business plan and delivery. Negative customer feedback, while not a lot of fun to process, is also essential as it helps you tailor and adjust your services in order deliver the best service possible and grow your business.
1. Social media
Social media is a great tool and is a direct link between you and your customer. They can instantly react to a post on Facebook using the reactions buttons and you can even gather views by assigning choices to those reaction buttons.
It’s also a good idea to monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand. If you are mentioned on Facebook or Twitter using your ‘@’ handle, then you should be notified. However, what happens if someone just types in your business name or a hashtag relating to your business then you won’t be notified as these forums will view this as simple text.
There are various apps available to help you track these mentions and you can analyse these in order to customise or adjust the service you provide.
Facebook reviews are perfect for instantly showing prospective customers how previous customers feel about your service and products. Businesses who show consistent reviews of four stars or higher are more likely to be trusted by prospective customers over companies with lower or no reviews.
A good way to encourage people to leave these reviews is go copy the link to your Facebook review page (this will be a long link but you can shorten it). This can be added to your email signature or emailed directly to customers asking for their feedback.
2. Search engine reviews
Search engine reviews are the perfect way to show potential customers that you are a brand that they can trust. What can be better than the visual representation that the 5 gold stars showing by your business name. But how do you get them? One way is to create a link to your search engine business page. Here’s a quick guide to how to find your google review link and if it’s a bit too long you can always shorten it.
Other good places to display good reviews are services such as Yelp and Trip Adviser. You can link to these pages from your website, your email signature or a link on your invoice this will make it as easy a process as possible for customers to leave a review.
3. Pop-up survey
Pop-up surveys are a simple and effective way to get customer feedback. These can be pretty easy to add to your website and it is important to keep it simple. Make sure not to overload them with lots of questions or it can really annoy your customers who are essentially just trying to navigate your site, which is completely the opposite of what we want.
4. Email survey
This can be a bit tricky now that the new GDPR. It is essential that you have the correct permissions from your users to be able to email them but once you have it you can either send the survey within the email or send a link to one you have made up online. Remember to keep these short and to the point though as too many questions, requiring long answers can be off putting.
This might be considered a weird one, but when you think about it, analytics will be able to show you what pages your customers visit on your website and how much time they are spending on there.
If you know what the behaviour of your customers is while on your website, it will be easier to tailor your website to make it as attractive as possible to customers and draw them in to the services or products you provide. For example, if they are drawn to your blog posts you could add links to services or blog about specific products you provide.
6. Live chat
This is a great one if you have the time and resources to man it properly. A live connection with your customers allows you to instantly connect and react to whatever issues may arise, and customers love a quick fix to their problems and are likely to talk to their friends about the great service you provided.
It’s a good service to think about because you can get that instant connection and pick up on issues that much quicker. You can feed this back into your business and tailor future services based on the feedback you’re given today.
You must be sure that you do get back to customers in a timely manner otherwise it’ll just make any issues they have with you or your services worse and you can be sure that that will also get back to friends and family.
7. Regular contact
At the end of the day nothing beats great customer services and keeping in touch with customers that you provide a regular service to is one of the best ways to keep the business relationship thriving.
The above methods are great for collecting feedback but what do you do if you are dealing with people who are not comfortable being online? Believe it or not there are still some people who would rather call and write rather than email and message. Well, they can still be valuable sources of feedback. If you’re not overwhelming or too assertive people can be quite happy to accept a phone call and let you know what they think of your service.
Or, failing that you can always have a quick chat. You could provide a simple questionnaire when you present your invoice to quickly gather their views at the point of sale or delivery just to see what their thoughts are.
What do you do with your customer feedback once you have it?
“Once people take ownership over the decision to receive feedback, they’re less defensive about it.”
– Adam Grant
As previously discussed in some sections, once you have your feedback you need to know what to do with it. It’s no good just getting it and storing is in a file somewhere, either electronically or in hard copy. You can take extracts from your feedback and display it on a ‘what our customers say about us’ page on your website.
Feedback in general looks great. If you are searching for random businesses using keyword searches, then you are more likely to go with the business which has positive feedback over the ones that do not. The same with Facebook. Feedback can be critical in a customer’s decisions to use your service or not.
What happens if you get negative customer feedback?
“Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.”
– Tim Fargo
And finally, how to handle negative feedback? Well, hopefully you won’t get any but the longer you are in business, the less likely that becomes. Do not ignore it hoping that it will just go away. It won’t.
Even simply acknowledging the complaint is the first step to fixing whatever issues your customers have and this will show your customers that you are happy to hear from them and that you take on board the bad as well as the good.
How about if someone posts a poor review on your social media or business pages. Is there anything you can do in these situations? Well, yes and no. There are ways to review feedback on Google and Facebook.