Analytics and data can provide all sorts of insights into what your customer base is looking for, but wouldn’t it be nice if your clients flat out told you what they wanted and thought? Enter customer feedback! Customer feedback helps you understand the “why” behind what people are doing and what they think your business is doing well or not so well. Not only that, but great comments can be quoted on your website, online profiles, and happy customers may even be willing to act as a live reference for future clients. Plus, just taking the time to collect good feedback shows your customers you care about them and what they have to say.
Even the aggregated result of feedback can make great comments for your promotional messages. For instance, from a recent WordJack client survey, we were delighted to learn that over 90% of our clients said they would recommend us to a friend. You can bet that we’ve quoted that number to potential customers and employees since then!
If you’re stuck on how to get better feedback and you want to reap the rewards that come from collecting it (like those listed above), here are five proven strategies to try.
Whether through email, an automated phone message, or an online poll, surveys are the bread and butter for getting feedback. They’re easy to analyze, set up, and send out, so what’s not to like? If you have plans to put together a survey to collect customer feedback, follow these guidelines:
- Keep your survey short and sweet — no one looks back on filling out a survey that took 45 minutes of their time fondly.
- Every question should serve a purpose, so only include ones you’ll use.
- Use open-ended questions so you find out exactly what your customers are thinking.
If you’d rather not throw a full-blown survey at your customers, try including a quick survey on your site that has a few key questions. Here’s a good example from the AAA Door Guys Inc. website:
Not only are surveys simple to use, but there are tons of platforms out there that can help you create a winning survey. We suggest trying one of the following:
- Google Forms — Using Google Forms, you can create as many surveys or polls as you want for free. You’re also given a lot of variety in terms of the types of forms you can build.
- Wufoo — This is a fast, easy way to create online forms. You can pick from a variety of templates and customize one based on what you want to include in your survey.
- SurveyMonkey — There’s a free version you can use, and you can create surveys in a matter of minutes. As results come in, you can view them in real-time and graphically.
You might also want to try JotForm, Typeform, Zoho Survey, or Survey Gizmo.
- Reach Out Directly
Calling your customers directly to request feedback is extremely proactive, and often this method generates the best responses. The main advantage of this method is you get firsthand feedback complemented by the opportunity to hear the customer’s tone and voice. This way, you can get a complete sense for their satisfaction.
To get as much as possible out of this method, only contact your customers at appropriate times. Don’t call during lunchtime, dinnertime, or early in the morning, so your customers are actually happy to hear from you.
- Feedback Boxes
More often than not, your customers won’t reach out directly to you if they have something to say. Instead, they might find themselves on your website looking for a way to get their opinion heard. To capture feedback at the right time for your customers, use feedback forms on your website. Just make sure your feedback form doesn’t look like work, so your customers will follow through on their desire to give you a review.
This is a great example from Race City Roofing’s website, and all the feedback box requires is a few pieces of information from the customer.
- Social Media Channels
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are invaluable resources to glean reviews from. When someone leaves a comment on one of your profiles, whether it’s positive or negative, respond professionally. This shows that you care about what your customers think and what they have to say.
Here’s a good example of some reviews our client Brandon Septic received on their Facebook page:
Since many people turn to online feedback before choosing a company, having shining reviews on social media sites is a great way to entice people to work with you.
- Incentivize the Process
People are more likely to do something when they’re going to get something in return, plain and simple. Since customers are more likely to provide feedback when they’ve had a negative experience over a positive one, this is a great way to encourage your client base to let you know what they think. Incentives can include anything from free shipping, a discount on a future purchase, a gift card, or entry into a contest. To negate the potential of people seeing this method as bribery, keep the tone of your requests as genuine as possible.