At times, collecting customer feedback can feel time-consuming and exhausting – almost like a chore instead of a business task. But if we’re being honest, it’s one of the more important things you can do for your business.
The Importance of Customer Feedback
As business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers, we often think we know everything there’s to know about our customers. We might not verbalize it with that much confidence, but deep down we feel like we have a decent idea of what advisors want. The problem is that we’ve really only scratched the surface. And if you aren’t gathering customer feedback, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Here are some reasons why customer feedback matters so much:
- Highlights issues. You might not always know that something is wrong with one of your products or services until you ask. There are certain issues that tend to swim beneath the surface. By digging in and gathering feedback, you learn about things that could be holding you back.
- Brings customers to life. It’s easy to view customers as names on a spreadsheet. By collecting feedback, you get to hear them speak in their own words and relay experiences. This has the potential to change your entire view of who they are and what’s important to them.
- Leads to innovation. As you sift through feedback, you’ll start to see opportunities for improving, evolving, or pivoting. This can lead to exciting innovations that you never would have considered without listening to your audience.
- Shows you care. Finally, by gathering feedback, you show your customers that you care about them. You show them that you care enough to gather insights and improve. That, in and of itself, can be a huge win!
We can’t ignore customer feedback any longer. This is something we have to take seriously, otherwise risk becoming out of touch and obsolete. That might sound dramatic, but it’s the truth. Your competitors aren’t taking their foot off the proverbial gas pedal – and neither should you.
How to Gather Feedback the Right Way
Gathering customer feedback is obviously important. The question is, how do you do it? Here are several options:
- Send NPS Surveys
A Net Promoter Score, also known as an NPS, is a very popular and useful customer experience metric that you can use to measure customer satisfaction and correlate it to revenue growth and other aspects of your business.
An NPS survey is a single-question survey where you ask: “How likely are you to recommend [insert business name or product] to a friend?” The customer then provides a 0-10 numerical rating.
According to Delighted, which provides NPS software for businesses, the basic premise is that,
“A customer that is willing to recommend (promote) your company is also more likely to stick with you for the long haul. However, a customer that rates you poorly is more likely to detract from your business by churning or spreading negative word of mouth.”
Over time, you track your NPS number to see how you’re doing/trending. If the number goes up over time, that’s a good sign that you’re moving in a good direction. If it’s trending downward, however, something needs to be addressed.
- Conduct Focus Groups
The beauty of an NPS survey is that you can send it out in a one-to-many capacity and get hundreds or thousands of responses in a matter of days. And because it’s only a single question with a simple numerical rating, people are very likely to fill it out. But if you’re looking for some more in-depth feedback, you can conduct focus groups.
While expensive and time-consuming, focus groups give you tons of invaluable information. Not only can you listen to the way people talk, but you can watch their body language and facial expression to understand how they feel.
- Use Social Media
Finally, you can use social media to gather feedback. This can be done both proactively and reactively. The proactive method is to run a survey or poll and gather responses. The reactive method is to use social media as a listening tool. Run searches for your brand name and see what people are saying about you. (This may only be an option for larger brands that have a significant following.)
Set Your Business Apart
If you can figure out how to make collecting (and implementing) customer feedback a normal part of the way you run your business, you’ll be light years ahead of the majority of companies in your industry. It’s that important. Do the hard work now and you’ll be forever rewarded.