We know that everything you do as a business owner is with the customer in mind. You do your best to build an incredible customer experience, satisfy their needs and give them every reason to stay loyal to your brand.
But customer experience management comes down to one key thing: customer feedback. We consider the importance of feedback from customers and how you can use it to help shape your customer experience.
What is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback is when customers let you know if they were satisfied or not with your service. It’s a review of their experience with you. Their opinion is often public and can give you an idea of what people really think about your business.
Have you ever left a review of a business? Maybe you went to a nice restaurant for your Birthday and the waiter was really helpful and personable. Or you went into a shop and felt like the assistant went out of their way to find your size. These kinds of things are classic customer feedback examples.
These reviews can be collected via feedback surveys, on social media or on dedicated review sites, like TripAdvisor and Trustpilot.
Why is it Important?
Customer feedback is important because it can help you make important business decisions. From customer support training to product development, here are a few reasons why feedback is crucial.
- It allows you to measure customer satisfaction
Every business owner knows – a happy customer leads to success. Feedback allows you to determine whether or not your current level of service meets your customers’ expectations.
- It can help you improve the customer experience
If you notice customers leave negative feedback about certain areas of your business, this isn’t a bad thing. It means you’ve got direction when it comes to making improvements! These little customer niggles are known as pain points.
- It can help build brand loyalty
Customer retention is important for any business. By making sure your product or service service is as streamlined as possible to meet customer needs, you’re improving the chances of improving customer loyalty. And feedback is one of the few direct communications you can have with those loyal customers to find out exactly what they want.
- It can improve your public reviews
Don’t let a poor review score come between you and your business’s success. By listening to feedback and improving your service, you’re making it better for existing customers. When those customers leave online reviews, this will encourage customer acquisition too!
- It can increase sales
The better the product or service, the more satisfied the customers. And the more satisfied customers are with your offering, the more they’re likely to spend.
Collecting Customer Feedback
Before you start to gather feedback, it’s a good idea to think about the type of feedback you want. Do you want feedback on user experience, your customer service, how you can improve your product, or about your business as a whole?
Next, choose how you want to collect reviews or feedback. Here are a few examples:
- Surveys and Questionnaires
Print them out in store, or direct customers to custom surveys that you’ve built online. A popular method that’s great for collecting anonymous feedback about your business. You can even incentivise survey participation by entering respondents into a prize draw!
- Review Sites
82% of consumers check reviews before a purchase and 88% say they trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In our digital world, online review websites are the modern-day word of mouth.
But now, you can see everything they say and even respond. Sites like Trustpilot and TripAdvisor allow the business (i.e. you) to respond to customer feedback by replying with a comment. Resolving a problem can even help you turn an unhappy customer into a 5-star review.
- Ask Them
There’s nothing wrong with asking customers if they’ve had a good experience with you, or if there’s anything you could do better next time. This is a particularly useful method for small, local businesses.
How to Apply Customer Feedback
Now you’ve received lots of feedback, how do you turn that into customer success?
Categorise by Type of FeedbackTry and split your results into categories. Think: what issue is this comment referring to? And work from there. These categories will depend on what questions you choose to ask, but could include:
• Website usability
• Product requests
• Customer service experience
• Generic positive/negative
Communicate Customer FeedbackEvery member of your team who comes into contact with customers should be aware of feedback and how you’re going to tackle it. The customer’s voice should have a high priority in the business and improving the customer experience should be on everyone’s to-do list every day.
Create a Plan of ActionNow you know what customers want, the next step is to implement a customer satisfaction plan.
Examples of actions you could take are implementing changes in your product roadmap, fixing bugs on the website and introducing a better structured pricing plan.
Here are a couple of key things to avoid when setting up your plan:
• Blaming certain people or departments
Received negative feedback for poor customer service or marketing? Don’t blame your team. It’s something that needs to be tackled by the entire business, starting at the brand values.
We recommend running training sessions to make sure everyone’s up to speed with the brand voice and how to respond to customer complaints. Excellent customer service is sure to follow.
• Setting a deadline
Improving customer satisfaction doesn’t have a deadline, nor does it have an end point. You should always be striving to achieve better results and to make your products and services better for the customer.
Measure the ResultsWhenever you implement a change, you should take note of the initial baseline stats. That way, once the changes are in full swing, you can monitor their performance.
You can measure customer satisfaction by monitoring your review rating online. You could also send out another questionnaire after 6 months or a year asking customers the same questions as before. If their answers have changed or become more positive, you know that your changes have made a difference to the customer experience.
Combining how customers feel with market research is the best way to boost your business development. We hope these tips allow you to build your own customer experience management process so you can take their feedback and turn it into reality. Not only will this benefit the customer, it’ll also benefit your business.
For more advice, check out these 8 proven customer retention strategies for small businesses.