Loyal customers are inexpensive customers: it costs far less to retain an existing customer than it does to find new ones. That’s why it’s important to find ways to encourage your customers to provide valuable feedback at opportune times. If you know where you could improve your product or service, you’re likely to see a boost in customer retention.
Print marketing is a great way to interact with your customers, as it is something they can read and then act on in their own time. While digital marketing certainly has its place in today’s internet-driven world, offline print marketing is still favoured by most customers. Compared to digital advertising, which is easy to close – particularly if it interrupts something you’re looking at – printed marketing communications are often put away just to be read at a later, more suitable, time.
Regular customer feedback means you can identify several things, including:
- Buying preferences
- Communication preferences
- Perceived value of your service
- Opportunities for new products or services
- Areas of improvement required.
Feedback forms don’t need to be lengthy. In fact, the shorter they are, the more likely you are to receive a large number of responses.
Incentivise Feedback Without Bribing Your Customers
While it’s tempting to offer rewards for feedback, try to limit what you’re offering. Otherwise, customers may feel like you’re bribing them to provide positive feedback – which could damage your reputation and skew the picture when it comes to analysing the data.
Anonymous customer data allows you to build a more accurate picture of your customer feedback, but it means you can’t reward your customers for giving feedback in the first place.
Instead, consider offering the opportunity to win a small gift with an option at the end of the feedback form to include their email address. This way you’re likely to receive a good number of responses, without customers feeling obliged to say nice things in the hope they’ll win.
Send Personalised Direct Mail
Instead of blasting your customers with a generic customer feedback survey, consider using personalised direct mail to boost your chances of a response. Customers like to feel valued as individuals, and some simple steps towards personalisation could really improve response rates.
For example, when you send out your next product catalogue, include a feedback survey which relates to their previous purchases, rather than their overall experience of the company. This way, you’ll not only give the customer a more personal experience, but will be able to gather intricate data for future analysis on your products and services.
Make It Easy For Your Customers To Provide Feedback
When you send out a customer feedback survey, be sure to make it as easy as possible for people to complete and return it. This could mean including a pre-paid envelope, or a link to where they can complete the survey online instead. This way, you’re giving your customers the choice of how they interact with you. Once again, this personalises their feedback journey and makes it more likely that you’ll receive a good response rate.
Send Thank You Cards
It’s not just about gathering feedback: remember to thank your customers, too! Consider sending a custom postcard or greetings card to say thank you for completing your survey. As well as a great way to boost the personal journey and improve customer loyalty, this is also a good opportunity to encourage return custom with a unique offer just for those who completed the survey.
Alternatively, you may want to use this opportunity to encourage your customer to generated word-of-mouth referrals. Hand out ‘tell-a-friend’ cards, which have an incentive for every friend who successfully signs up to your service. For example, for the first friend that signs up via their referral, they both get 10% off their next purchase; for the second friend, the customer gets 20% off, the third friend 30% off and so on.