People turn to several different strategies when they’re hoping to improve their business. Some try to upsell their retail items. Others plan ambitious marketing and advertising campaigns. Many use social media and email marketing platforms (we hear Emma's a pretty good one, of course) to effectively keep in touch with existing and prospective customers.
However, there’s another great option out there that’s free, authentic and priceless: customer feedback.
Customer feedback means gathering intel from your existing customers about what they think of your business, from top to bottom. Learn about their customer service experience, how they feel about the product or service you’re offering and why they chose you over the competition.
Knowledge is power, and customer feedback provides a powerful means of improving your business. Don’t believe us? Here are a few ways to turn the feedback you collect into pure gold.
1. Customer loyalty
Enrich your relationship with existing customers through customer feedback. By asking them how they feel about your business and everything you offer, you show your customers how much you truly value their business. It also isn’t easy finding new customers, so capitalize on customer feedback to help keep the ones you’ve got! A mantra you should start repeating to yourself: It can cost a business 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one.
Remember that, 5-10 times MORE!
Address any issues that your existing customers may have and be sure to fix them. Keep in touch with your customers through tailored and robust email campaigns. Always make sure that your business is on their radar. Your customers will express their gratitude through long-term brand loyalty.
This one’s a no-brainer. Customer loyalty breeds referrals. Consider their feedback, whether it's negative, positive, or constructive, and let them know that you’re paying attention.The happier you keep your existing customers, the more inclined they’ll be to recommend your business to their friends, family and colleagues.
3. Competitive Advantage
Knowing what’s going on in your customers’ heads is an easy way to gain a competitive edge. When you learn the likes and dislikes of your customers, you essentially stumble upon free market research for your target demographic. Get a leg up on your competitors by tailoring your business to the specific needs of your customers.
Like I said before, knowledge is power! Customer feedback, whether it’s good or bad, is a powerful tool for your business. You will get the education of a lifetime, and it’ll help you grow your small business into the empire it was meant to be. For example, maybe a customer found your customer service to be lacking...it's ok! Now you know what area to focus on when it comes to improving your business operations.
5. Social proof
Who doesn’t love to read a testimonial about a potential business they’re looking into? Think about it – there are entire websites built JUST for the purpose of hosting customer reviews.
Inviting your customers (especially the happy ones) to leave honest reviews and testimonials for your business helps in two ways: First, it gives potential customers the inside scoop into how previous customers felt utilizing your business. Second – and this is a big one – it establishes your business’s credibility. The more reviews you collect, the more it appears that you’re a busy, successful, and flourishing business.
6. Employee satisfaction
As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in always worrying about your customers. However, without your rockstar employees, your business wouldn’t exist. Leverage your customer feedback to increase employee morale and use it as a teachable moment for each of your employees. Touch upon their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of your customers.
In the end, everyone just wants to be better and do better. So don’t shy away from customer feedback…whether it’s the good, the bad or the ugly!