In today’s marketplace, collecting customer feedback has never been more important. With the rise of custom-centric marketing and designing programs to optimize the customer experience, listening to what your customers have to say about your business is vital to the success of your company.
In this article, we are try and help you along this journey by providing 7 best practices for collecting customer feedback. It is our hope that with this information, you will not only learn how to better provide value to your customers, but fully understand who they are and how to improve the customer experience. Let’s get started.
Why are you collecting customer feedback?
Before we take a look at how best to collect feedback from your customers, let’s first think about why you are collecting feedback. Feedback on its own might be informative, but without the proper context surrounding it, you will never know how to use it for further customer success.
Before you jump in, consider:
- What part of the customer experience you want to improve?
- What will you do with the feedback when you receive it?
- How can you reach your customers in ways they will respond to?
While some customer retention techniques might shy away from asking these questions ahead of time to avoid biased surveying, it is important to the success of your program that you review them. Without it, you will be shooting in the dark with no way of knowing if you are being successful. Once you have asked these questions, now you can get started on actually collecting customer feedback.
1. Keep it simple
Our first best practice for collecting customer feedback is easy: keep it simple. Far too often, companies will roll out elaborate campaigns that do more to confused their customer base than learn from it. By keeping it simple, you are able to get right to the point and avoid wasting both their time and yours.
We recommend using something such as an SMS marketing service here to help not get overwhelmed. SMS has the benefit of limiting you to 160 characters, keeping things simple and easy to process. Not only that, but most customers have their phone by them almost all the time, allowing you to reach them with ease.
2. Reach out directly
In doing your part to keep it simple, our next recommendation is to reach out directly to your customers. Sometimes businesses will go for an indirect approach, be it having a survey on their website or surveying a random selection of people. While this can be effective for general comments and feedback, it will not help collecting customer feedback.
Instead, reach out directly to your customers and ask them what they do or don’t like about your services. You’ll be surprised by how little this happens to customers and how refreshing you will come across.
When you reach out directly to your audience, make sure that you are ready to provide them with the tools they need to provide the proper customer feedback. One way to do this that has been successful for other businesses is customer feedback surveys. Not only can these give you an in-depth look at the minds of your customers, but they are easy to put together and distribute.
This idea of paying close attention to your customers has only recently been seen in a positive light. However, with the knowledge we now have on the effectiveness of these programs, we know that it can both reduce churn rate at your business and increase customer engagement.
4. Always open
Even though it can be effective to reach out to customers directly, it’s not always convenient for them to complete a survey or fill out a form when they receive it. This is why it is also important to include a feedback channel, preferably on your website, that is always open.
This way, when customers want to engage with you on their own terms, they have the opportunity to do so. Our recommendation here is that, when your receive customer feedback through this channel, respond quickly. In fact, many answers to FAQs can be answered with automations, so set this up ahead of time and watch it work itself out.
5. Create an online community
Another way in which you can harness the power of different customer retention strategies in one place is by creating an online community. In these spaces, most often seen on Facebook or LinkedIn, your customers can share common experiences and talk through best practices.
This a great way to not only connect customers to one another, but provide support and an outlet for feedback that doesn’t feel as formal as completing a survey. Additionally, loyal customers may be able to answer questions from your customers without you intervening, leading to a more trusting and growth-center environment, one that many are looking for.
6. Monitor social channels
So far, we have mainly talked about direct ways of receiving customer feedback. However, there are a few ways to indirectly receive and understand customer feedback. One of these methods is to monitor social channels for mention of your brand, both directly and indirectly.
According to a recent report, 96% of unhappy customers won’t complain to you, but will tell 15 friends, and the often do so on social media. These kind of conversations can be vital to better understanding your customers, since they often are more truthful in these spaces than through traditional channels.
7. User activity
The next indirect way of receiving customer feedback and our last best practice is again simple, but highly effective. Monitoring user activity and user engagement metrics is one of the best ways to see cold, hard data that tells you everything from how your customers behave to their favorite ways to interact with your company.
This kind of informative customer feedback simply can’t be found through sending out a survey, and yet both kinds of feedback are essential to creating a good customer experience. Start tracking user activity today to uncover new ways to treat your customers well.
And that about does it. We hope that each of these best practices will better aide you in your quest to optimize your customer’s experience and overall satisfaction with your business. As we like to say, the best time to start is now, so get after it!
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera