In this digital age, it’s easy to build a wall between your staff and customers. But if you don’t listen to customer feedback you stand to miss out on a valuable insight that can put your business ahead of the curve.
Your customers are the endpoint of your product or services’ journey to market. No matter how much research and development you’ve done, if your customers are unimpressed, you may be taking a risk with your business. A statistical analysis by business review company InfoQuest shows that a satisfied customer will generate 14 times more revenue to the business than a dissatisfied customer.
4 ways to make the most of customer feedback
- Undertake customer satisfaction surveys, behavioural surveys, and useability testing
Customer satisfaction can be a key indicator for customer loyalty. According to research by company SDL, four in five dissatisfied customers will never come back. When you consider that it’s five times more expensive to win a new customer than it is to keep an existing one, a customer’s satisfaction, or lack thereof, can seriously impact your business. Conducting regular surveys allows you to better align your business with customer interests. You can try doing customer survey in person, online or via email. There are also options such as survey monkey where you can use basic options for free.
- Get out and spend time with your customers
Sometimes your customer’s feedback may be too specific for a survey, so it’s important to facilitate avenues for direct, in-person communication. For more personalised feedback you could talk to customers in focus groups or at the point of contact and ask them to express their honest thoughts about your products and services. Ask them what they would do if they had the power to improve their customer experience. This approach will help you better understand the positives and negatives of your business.
- Engage with your customers on social media
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your customers through social media. Facebook and Twitter can be invaluable platforms for customer feedback. The key with social media is to cut through the babble and get to the most useful information. There are many software tools that will help you monitor social media for keywords and conversations that reveal important, actionable feedback. Two better-known ones are SocialBro and Sprout.
- Allow your customers to complain and work to resolve their concerns
Make sure you take your customer’s feedback seriously. A small number of dissatisfied customers may indicate a larger pool of people with similar issues or concerns. Research has shown that only one to five per cent of dissatisfied customers will make a formal complaint. That leaves the remaining 96 per cent that will never make their problem known to the business. These customers may quietly take their business elsewhere or tell their friends about their bad experience. Remedy this by setting up channels for your customers to voice complaints and proactively work to resolve them.
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