Customer feedback is a great tool for businesses to develop products and services, increase sales, improve employee morale and generate free publicity.
Develop new or existing products and services
Customer feedback is essential for developing a new product or service, or improving existing ones. You and your employees work with your product/service everyday and may not see its imperfections from a user point of view. To combat this, companies can conduct focus groups, in-person interviews or phone surveys to find out what their customers really want and need. Maybe you’ll find that there’s a common complaint you weren’t aware of, allowing you to fix it and gain the confidence of your customers. Maybe you’ll find that there’s an aspect of your business that people particularly love, and you can shift more focus to it. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
Listening to customer feedback makes customers feel more involved and increases brand loyalty. When asked for their opinion on a particular product or service, they will feel like valued members of your team and will feel more positive about your brand, leading to repeat sales and longer customer retention. After such a positive experience, they are also more likely to refer you to family, friends and colleagues.
Studies have shown that personal recommendations and referrals are one of the most effective types of advertising in your arsenal, not just while finalising a sale, but at every stage of the customer lifecycle. For many people, the first thing they do when considering buying is to read opinions and reviews left by previous customers. If you’re actively encouraging customers to leave feedback, and you’re dealing with both positive and negative feedback constructively, potential customers will see this and feel confident about doing business with you.
Dealing with negative feedback
You should have processes in place to deal with all types of feedback, including negative! In today’s hyper-connected world, where competition is just a few clicks away, it’s more important than ever to tackle problems immediately. Unhappy customers who provide feedback should be seen as an opportunity. These customers could have ranted about you on social media, written a bad review or posted anonymously on a forum. However, they’ve come directly to you to share their experience, hoping you can do something about it. An action plan specific to your business is needed to deal with the unhappy customer to address the issue and compensate the customer. Generally, you need to respond promptly, write like a person, not a corporation, take it offline and provide compensation if warranted.
Improve morale and motivation
Getting a positive review from a satisfied customer gives team members a boost, knowing that their work is being appreciated. It’s also important to gather feedback internally. Your staff may have insights you don’t, or may see opportunities or problems you haven’t spotted. Don’t be afraid to ask your team members how they feel the team is performing! If anyone is dissatisfied, just knowing that there’s a potential issue can prevent much bigger problems down the road.
At Just Cashflow, we conduct ongoing customer surveys and publish the results quarterly on our website. Our most recent results showed 99% overall satisfaction with our service – but conducting this research on an ongoing basis ensures we never take that for granted, and always strive to do the best we possibly can for our customers.