Creating a customer feedback system can be a very difficult task. It is, however, worth every ounce of time and effort.
You need to be ruthless in ensuring that your customers can reach you at any point in time to air their opinions.
A lot of customers will simply walk out on your business when they are dissatisfied with the services you render or perhaps due to a technical glitch that could have been resolved if there was a working channel of communication.
Customers need to feel and know that your business is centered around them and that they have a say in the way they want to be served.
They must perceive that you are open to criticism or praise and you are able to listen without a wall of defense around you.
This will make it easy for them to express their complaints, praise or opinions about your business or the quality of service they received, will amplify their confidence in your level of professionalism.
Trust is the currency that is earned. And every business owner knows how invaluable that is.
As you consider the need for your business to have a working feedback system, let us dive into TrustOrRun’s 5 proven ways to create a customer feedback system that works:
This one is fun. It’s also one of the most important.
If you want to truly know how your customers feel, you really need to go talk to them.
One beautiful discovery that you will make is that your customers have so much to say.
They might even suggest new ideas to get the best out of your business.
Another benefit is the sense of belonging that your customers gain.
This approach encourages a communal feeling which ensures that your customers keep coming back.
If you don’t reach out and talk to your customers, you’ll never learn what’s really going on, and you’ll be trying to fix the symptom instead of the real problem.
You’ll get major bonus points from this if you do it in person. So dive into your customer list and see if anyone is local.
Then invite them to lunch and tell them you’re looking to completely understand how your business helps solve their problem.
2) Your personal/business email address
This system eliminates the need for your customers to be physically present in your business location before they can give a feedback.
Of course, you need an email address to achieve this.
Better still, when did you last check your business email address. With the advent of mobile technology, it is easier to get real-time updates of messages from your email address.
This should be used to your advantage.
Many business websites have email addresses that end in their business name. e.g. “business name.com”. This is a good idea.
However, most businesses without a dedicated employee assigned to monitor the in-flow of these messages miss out on customers’ feedbacks or inquiries.
I would, therefore, recommend that business owners without a large backroom staff should make use of their personal email addresses rather than the business email address.
Another step in the right direction is to include/imprint your email address on your business cards, business websites, products and office complex to ensure your customers find them.
Simply putting up your phone number is a proven way of getting customer feedback. It’s probably one of the oldest feedback systems available.
Some businesses like 2checkout go the extra mile by placing calls to their customers to get feedbacks on the ease of usage of their payment software.
This system provides the added advantage of taking your customers by surprise.
I remember the very first call I got from 2checkout, I couldn’t help but smile all through the conversation. It’s time to show your customers you care. Place a call now.
4) Polls & Surveys
In the business landscape, this is one of the most underutilized but very effective means of getting customer feedbacks.
Surveys are like the questionnaires used for academic purposes but definitely not as boring or lengthy.
Many business owners find the process of formatting questions quite tedious and others have been frustrated by inadequate responses from customers.
There are ways around these and you can make use of online tools like SurveyMonkey & Qualaroo.
To get great responses from your surveys, you can adhere to the following tips:
- Make it short. 5-10 questions are good.
- Ask only relevant and useful questions.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Make use of “Yes or No” questions. E.g, do you think you will return to do business with us again?
- Start with a note of appreciation and end with one.
5) Social Network Engagement
The spectacular rise of Facebook and twitter has led to an enormous business interest in social networking.
Arguably, the customer feedback arising from social networking is also on the rise as a lot of businesses now have a business page/app on these social media.
Despite the hype, engagement on the social media isn’t always the most effective means of getting candid feedback. A lot of customers simply breeze through these sites while others won’t participate except you ask a fun question or attach a reward.
Nonetheless, with adequate planning, the effectiveness of social media platforms, especially facebook, can be exceptional and geared towards building a business empire.
Once you’ve identified your happy customers, you can ask them for a feedback using these platforms.
When you collect feedback from your customers consistently, it helps you know if you’re building your business in the right direction. So experiment with the methods above and find the right combination for your business.
As soon as you find a process for collecting high-quality feedback that works for your business, make it a standard practice.
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