Reap the Benefits of Customer Feedback
How much value do you attribute to customer opinions? Orders are steadily coming in, so business must be running the way it should, right? Or maybe you’ve had a slump, and “know” it’s because of location, the economy, or some other external factor. There are always things to learn from your consumer market, even if things are going well. Learn how to appreciate the benefits of customer feedback, and use it to the advantage of your marketing and production.
Distinguish Between Valuable Opinions and Trolling
Positive feedback is of course never unwelcomed, but negative opinions are helpful too. It’s important first to recognize the difference between genuinely unhappy responses and feedback deliberately intended to criticize. Some comments are purposely malicious, derogatory, degrading, and perhaps obscene, because they’re meant to be. These types of people will seemingly never be happy with results, so ignore them.
Negative comments that aren’t trolling, however, shouldn’t be disregarded, or replied to in a like manner. Always maintain civil communication, including a “thank you” for their input. Remember that less than stellar feedback has its worth. thinkJar founder Esteban Kolsky provided some interesting information in the Huffington Post’s “50 Important Customer Experience Stats for Business Leaders.” His research revealed that 25 out of 26 dissatisfied customers don’t say anything, and 91% of those non-complainers end their patronage instead.
Adapt to Customer Preferences and Needs
Responding to and taking comments into consideration is a terrific way to show your audience that you’re listening. You’re paying attention to what consumers want and like, and adapting as best as possible to those needs. Emotional connectivity and preparing for any question or comment, key elements of a successful business pitch, also apply here.
Depending upon the type of product or service you have, you may be evoking feelings and experiences as selling points. Integrate the benefits of customer feedback into your marketing strategies. Encourage consumers and social media followers to take surveys, and to share how they use your products. Ask them:
- What they like
- What, if anything, needs to change
- Their thoughts on a new/proposed idea, plus additional opinions after production, to test success, disappointment, or need for improvement
- Would they recommend you to others and why/why not
Periodically repeat those surveys, and offer discounts or incentives for participation. Demonstrate some kind of appreciation for customers relaying their continuous impressions and opinions. Just when you think you thought of everything, consumers may point out a vital missing ingredient. Take mobile apps, for instance. In Amasty’s “Global E-Commerce Trends and Statistics 2017-2018,” 78% of shoppers consider an oomnichannelexperience crucial to how they shop. That’s an invaluable component of today’s technology-driven commerce, which customers can confirm or deny for your purposes.
Use the Benefits of Customer Feedback as Growth Potential
Think of customer feedback as organic marketing. People love to see what others are saying about a business, and how companies interact with their audience. Use responses to evaluate and re-evaluate target demographics, trends, and how consumers compare you to competitors. Make customers feel that they are more than their money. Listen to the discontent if a beloved product is discontinued without a chance of returning. Assure the audience that their happiness is still a priority, and point out why the replacement product is worth it. Remind customers that they’re the motivation for doing what you do.
Additionally, create customer service training tools that reflect feedback. This boosts employee confidence, strengthens protocols, and addresses any unsatisfactory behavior. When customers see demonstrative results in every facet of your company, they tend to stay with you longer. Your responses can make the difference between customer loyalty and retention, and consumers going elsewhere.
Echo the key traits of a successful entrepreneur, including a willingness to learn, to encourage opinions throughout your company’s existence. Incorporate the benefits of customer feedback into your operations, so you grow right alongside existing patrons, and garner new ones.