05 February 2015
It’s vital you know how your customers feel about your products and services, so that you can keep them coming back to you.
Whether you’re a fledgling business or an established company with an excellent historical record, keeping customers is easier and cheaper than finding new ones. So it’s vital you know how your customers feel about your products and services, so that you can keep them coming back to you.
It also gives you information on what your business could be doing better. According to Surveyme.com, 91% of customers will simply leave and never come back and the majority of unhappy customers won’t bother to complain. So if you don’t ask for feedback, you may never know why you’re not getting repeat custom.
However, while they may not tell you why they were displeased, on average an unhappy customer will tell between nine and 15 people about their bad experience. Word of mouth is an important method of referrals, so you want to avoid this. Plus, it’s now very easy to write reviews on social media and online review sites, so it’s never been easier to spread the word. According to Trustpilot, 77% of consumers look at online reviews of a product before deciding whether or not to purchase it and 89% are influenced by negative reviews.
Asking for feedback is a simple method of listening to your customers. And if you want your business to be successful, you should be proactive and talk to them regular, to understand them better and target your products to their needs.
It also gives you the opportunity to nip any issues in the bud if it’s done at the correct time. For example, you’d want to know as soon as possible if a customer bought a product but then wasn’t happy with it. Similarly, if a loyal customer suddenly stopped buying from you, you’d want to know why. Perhaps you’ve offered a free trial and customers aren’t
Other pertinent times to ask for opinions are if you’re considering launching a new product or changing an existing one. Before you invest time and money into this, it’s sensible to get reactions from your customer base. This is particularly important for small businesses, where these resources may be in short supply.
There is a huge array of options for gathering feedback and each has their pros and cons. The best method may depend on what information you’re hoping to gather.
This list is of course not exhaustive. There’s also software that can ask website visitors questions, which allows you to gather anonymous data from visitors who may be potential, rather than actual customers.
Basically, almost any avenue where you interact or communicate with your customers or audience has potential to be used to gather feedback.
If a customer has bothered to give you feedback, you need to make sure you act on it, whether the comments are positive or negative.
You could encourage happy customers to write a review, thereby spreading the word about your product and helping you to convert more customers. Or you could offer them a discount as a thank you for giving up their time to improve your product.
Don’t ignore negative feedback. Contact the customer as soon as possible and if this is in the public domain, try to take the conversation offline, where you can have more detailed conversations.
Look for trends in the replies you receive before you change your products or services. If a certain issue keeps cropping up, it may be worthwhile investigating further.