Determine the purpose for gathering feedback
Before embarking on any efforts to collect feedback, consider the specific areas you are trying to learn about, and what you will do with the data once it is collected. A good rule of thumb is to ensure every single question you ask will bring you one step closer to your goal, no matter how it is answered. Avoid dead-end questions that are overly obvious or that require only one word answers. When planning your questions, have the end result in mind, so you invite the types of responses that will help solve your problem. Blindly asking for feedback about your products or services will almost never result in actionable insights.
Choose your weapon
Once you have a clear purpose for gathering customer feedback, do some research and determine what channel will be most effective in accomplishing your goal. There are many platforms and tools available; make sure you choose the one most suitable – usually at a decision point, or immediately before an action will be taken. For example, at the point where a customer abandons items in his online shopping cart, unsubscribes from your e-newsletter or returns a product to your store. Popular mediums to gather customer feedback include email/contact forms, surveys, help tickets, review sites, blog comments, social media posts, phone/in-person interviews or focus groups.
Monetize the feedback
While accumulating data is important, it is even more imperative to actually take the time to learn from your customers, and more importantly, proactively leverage this data to guide future marketing efforts and improve products, services and overall customer experience. The feedback you get is only as good as the action you take.
- Improve a product or service: The world’s most successful companies are the best at creating products that meet their customers’ needs and exceed their expectations.
- Create a better customer experience: Wow your customers and they will remain loyal and refer their friends as well. Responding appropriately to a negative customer experience will help ensure customer retention.
- Identify your ambassadors: Customer advocates offer high value at very little cost. Contact the customers who consistently give you positive feedback and develop mutually-beneficial relationships.
- Ask for referrals: Customer referrals are the number one way to attract new customers. If you don’t ask, you will not receive.
Prioritize your response
When determining how best to respond to the feedback you’ve received or the insights you’ve uncovered, divide the data into three stages.
- Stage 1: Urgent adjustments that are both critical and quick. These may be easy wins or crisis alerts.
- Stage 2: Actions that impact revenue over the short-term, such as new product features or upgraded service.
- Stage 3: Ideas or suggestions that will majorly transform your business over the long term. These may be product offshoots or a game-changing technology.
Once you’ve implemented the feedback-based changes, don’t forget to close the loop with your customers. Absolutely let them know that you’ve taken their suggestions seriously and effected change in your business, products or services. This will create good will and encourage more feedback in the future.
Need help with a customer feedback strategy? Grow-Corp can help.
As a full service B2B Marketing Communications company, Grow-Corp uses effective in-house consulting services, strategy, copywriting and design to build integrated end-to-end solutions that adapt to your company’s needs. We offer strategic input based on our deep business understanding and familiarity with the high-tech and industrial markets. You benefit from our 15 years of experience covering all aspects of marketing communications – alternative strategies, copywriting, design and execution. Our professional and experienced team cuts through the noise to deliver a compelling proposition that meets all your needs. We specialize in connecting the dots between the different messages emanating from the company into one clear, concise and convincing message. For over 15 years, our marketing and strategic advice has helped many businesses and industries, from both start-ups to established multi-nationals around the world. Now, let us help you.