Start 2014 Off Right With These Four Easy Methods for Getting Great Customer Feedback

by: Kathleen Martin

We all spend a ton of time wondering what our customers are thinking, don’t we? So why do so many of us stop short of taking that one step further by doing the single most important thing we can do to find out.

Ask them.

Customer feedback can provide us with greater insight and help us find out if we are impressing--or failing--our customers on a daily basis. Isn’t it surprising how few companies are actually opening a dialogue with our customers?

But that’s so totally 2013. With 2014 just around the corner, it’s time to refresh and renew our efforts to be the best companies we can be. So let’s all agree together to make 2014 the Year of Customer Feedback!

Asking our customers to tell us how we’re doing is our best option for experiencing the customer journey first-hand. It’s also one of the quickest pathways we can take to create change that matters. Because feedback that goes unheeded is us wasting our customers’ time. If everything stays just as it’s always been, why ask in the first place?

There are an enormous amount of ways a business can begin the feedback/awesome change loop, but some tactics are tried-and-true for a reason. They work, and they work efficiently.

Email: Creating an email feedback system is probably one of the most popular ways to ask for feedback. Once a customer completes a purchase or signs up for something online, offer them a quick and easy direct email line back to you to tell you what that experience was like for them.

Surveys: Online surveys require taking the time to know your customers and ensure you ask the right questions in order to receive meaningful feedback in return. These should never be too long, or overly complex, to help us get a better response rate from our customers. Make it short, make it meaningful, and get those kind people back to their lives already!

Phone calls and in-person feedback: It never ceases to amaze me just how much more can be accomplished in a 5-minute phone call versus a week-long email string. Taking a few minutes out of a busy schedule can seem like a lot to ask, but it can also go a long way towards getting the kind of feedback that we want. Take advantage of vocal cues and body language and put some of that Emotional IQ to work for your business.

Online surveys (or, the Snippet Survey): Surveys don’t have to be a huge project to be effective. Keep the lines of communication open by adding several micro-surveys to your site to give feedback about a single section or point of action within your site. Little adjustments that can make a big difference when it comes to conversions and your customer satisfaction levels.

The short of it is we have a lot to gain by building customer feedback into our plans for 2014, and very little to nothing to lose. With technology and ever-expanding communication channels making it easier than ever to have an open dialogue with our customers, isn’t it time we got the conversation started.

Outlier

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