5 Steps to collect valuable customer feedback (the right way)
One of the biggest mistakes a successful business can make is to ignore the people who made it successful in the first place – customers.
There’s a lot of noise out there about using data to make better business decisions, but most businesses might very well start with a specific type of data: customer data.
Customer feedback is the backbone of business growth, as it provides the most direct route to knowing what your customers really think of you and your product. And if you collect customer feedback the right way, you also become privy to deeper insights like what your customers expect, what they want, and how their needs are changing.
The key is gathering data from your customers along the entire expanse of the customer journey. By connecting with them at as many touchpoints as you can manage, your insights will be more varied, richer, deeper, and in the end, more actionable.
Here are 5 of the best ways to collect valuable customer feedback (the right way) along the customer journey.
This is truly the most exciting, dynamic way right now for gathering customer feedback. Significant gains have been made in both hardware and software, allowing businesses highly tailored, ultra-specific data collection from their customers’ phones.
There are several ways to leverage mobile for customer feedback. Texting coupons or promotions to an opt-in database in return for feedback is one way to garner valuable customer data. There’s also mobile web and QR codes, but texting is highly versatile and offers direct connections with consumers.
Plus, with in-store call to action signage, businesses can encourage consumers to text their feedback in real time, while they’re experiencing the product or service. That, in turn, sets businesses up to be able to react more quickly than ever when there’s negative feedback.
2. Social Listening
If you want to kick feedback collection into overdrive, you’ll start practicing social listening. This means capturing mentions of your brand across multiple social media platforms, forums, and websites.
You’re dealing with raw, unfiltered data, which is why social listening also happens to be a bit labor intensive.
3. Social Media
Customers who are irritated or frustrated usually won’t contact your support team unless the problem is serious. For smaller annoyances, they’ll probably just walk away from your product. You might find out about issues in a survey, but only if you happen to ask the right questions.
Getting customers to give you feedback about minor issues is easier on social media. It’s easy, it’s instant, and businesses can respond quickly. Do everything in your power to encourage feedback across all your social media accounts.
You can reach out directly with emails to consumers who’ve opted into your email list. You might send a survey – surveys are highly scalable and easier to analyze than the raw data you might collect from social listening or other types of user-generated customer feedback.
The trick with emailed surveys is to design them so that people actually fill them out. Secondly, they must be designed so that the responses you get are actually helpful.
5. Client Service
Finally, customer feedback isn’t always about collecting data. Feedback is also helpful for providing better service. By making it easy for customers to report major issues like broken vending machines or some bad apples in the cafeteria, you’re collecting the kind of customer feedback that’s immediately actionable.
Again, mobile is the key to fast, effective feedback. Gather input from your customers either by text or through short mobile web forms. Either way, make sure someone is set up to receive alerts so frustrated or annoyed customers can get a fast response.
For every business, customer feedback is the best way to gauge how you’re doing and what changes you might want to make. Your customers are the most valuable source of information about what works and what doesn’t in your company. Start with the five steps we’ve given you here, and you could be well on your way to increasing profits and polishing up your brand image.