Any human relationship thrives on effective communication. The business to customer relationship is indispensably important for a business to flourish. Effective communication can only occur with the acquirement & usage of feedback so as to create a common understanding. That’s why customer feedback is extremely important for a business. Not only does it help the business, but it also helps in the customer’s needs being met. Thus, getting & usage of customer feedback is symbiotic for the business & customers both. Here are some ways to use in:
GETTING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Polls or Surveys
These can done either online or offline; you just have to be creative. This is when you give customers a platform to express their sentiments or opinion on a wide range of things about a product or service. The idea is to structure your polls or surveys with respect to the specific areas you want to investigate on. This is best done by questionnaires issued & to be filled physically or online; this can also be done via sms.
Customer Product Reviews
Again you can do this online or offline. The focus here is for customers who have used your products or services to evaluate their user experience. You can design score cards where customers score certain attributes of a product or service whilst giving explanatory notes & recommendations.
Toll Free SMS Or Phone Lines
You can acquire the service of having a toll free sms or phone line. This will be dedicated to inquiries, queries, complaints or recommendations that customers may have. Thus, you’ll provide customers with these details such that they can easily contact you.
Create Platforms Where Your Customers Can Converge
These days with social media you get to provide a platform where your customers get to converge. The beauty of this is that social media platforms are multi-functional i.e. you can do a lot with a platform in a cost-effective way. You can receive and actually respond to or address all customer issues through a social media platform.
I have dealt a lot with analytics in my other articles. Basically, in social media marketing you get details about the behaviour & responses of your customers on your social media platforms. Am objective look at all that data can give you rich customer feedback details without the customers even realizing it. A lot of objective feedback is acquired here as opposed to other means which can be prone to bias & insincerity.
Feedback & Suggestion Boxes
This is best done on the physical site(s) of a business. You can have randomly placed slotted boxes where customers can place written notes on various aspects regarding your products or services. Even the other aspects such as questionnaires & score cards can be incorporated here.
Random Calls, SMSes, Messages Or Emails
When dealing with customers obviously you will have their contact details. You can do random sampling and contact customers just to investigate on some aspects pertaining to your products or services. People will most likely respond sincerely and honestly due to feeling exclusive by having been unexpectedly contacted.
USING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Broadly, customer feedback can be used for 5 main things:
The feedback you get will highlight problem areas as indicated by complaints. Thus you will be able to address disgruntled customers and at the same time identifying a problem area that might actually need significant attention.
Dealing with the negatives is extremely crucial because unaddressed complaints can result in a negative turnover on your business. On average it is said that a disgruntled customer can end up telling as many as 10 people and so on. Therefore addressing negative feedback will help you make customers happy & avert possible negative publicity for your products or services.
Nourishing Relationships With Customers
Feedback is instrumental in building, nurturing, maintaining and enhancing customer loyalty. The fact you will get to communicate with them and addressing their issues will build trust. They will bring up recommendations and your reception of them will make them feel special. This enriches your relationship with your customers and in turn builds your customer base since they will spread a good word about you.
Identifying Your Niche Market
Feedback from customers is key to identifying what your market really is. This emanates from looking at the demographics, buying patterns & geo-locations of your customers. This goes a long way in knowing where you ought to direct more of your attention to.
The amount of detail about your product or service that customer feedback provides is diverse and vast. You will get to know what to remove, what to add, what to improve etc. Aspects of how you are faring in your service delivery will also be highlighted in that feedback. Taking a frank and objective look at all this feedback and acting upon it will result in product improvement.
Once all these preceding areas that I have discussed are incorporated you can effectively plan for the future. You will then draft well-informed strategic plans that will be premised on all issues raised in your customers’ feedback. This will help you deliver on KPIs borne out of customer feedback that will resultantly keep your customers satisfied.
If you weren’t giving due attention to customer feedback it’s now time that you start to. Generally, I have heard locals complaining about how local businesses mostly have poor regard for customer concerns. That’s a rhetoric we need to change and start being regarded as businesses that value customer-related issues. As a business don’t be so inclined on just realizing revenue with a huge disregard for customer welfare. After all, the customer is king!