Customer feedback can be a great tool for the improvement of your business. Here is how to optimise the way you use your customer feedback.
Get as Much as Possible
Before customer feedback can work for you, you need enough of it. This means increasing the amount of feedback you get from current and past customers. The easiest way to do this is to make it as easy as possible for customers to give feedback.
If customers ever interact with you online, give them the option of supplying feedback with a few simple clicks; politely invite them to share their views in phone calls, or after business has been done; put feedback slips into deliveries. The easier it is, the more data you will have to use to improve your business.
Remember that as soon as it is spoken, feedback gets old. What is relevant feedback in 2012 might not be relevant today. Think about how quickly websites, office software and legislation can change. Make sure you act fast with the feedback you have put time into obtaining.
Trial and Error
In some industries, you can test a product before its release and find out what customers like and don’t like: what they want to change and what they want more of. In other industries, this just isn’t an option. Market research is a powerful tool in many retail and design based industries, but if you operate in consultancy, construction, accounting etc. then you simply can’t make a trial product and see what costumers think.
Instead, every time you go, you go for real – no marketing exercises. Getting detailed feedback from real (not potential, laboratory) customers is one of the few ways you can make your service more palatable for your next costumer, making the whole process smoother for you, and making it more likely you’ll be recommended.
A less-obvious way of turning customer feedback into business advantage is to quote satisfied customers. This is done often on adverts, information packs and the like, but do merely put a positive quote underneath the face of a smiling actor and stick it on the front of all your information mail-outs is to underestimate the potential that customer feedback can bring you.
Much more persuasive than the isolated quote is to build a portfolio of feedback from satisfied customers. A great example is Evolve‘s website’s client stories section. Notice how they display the brand of their clients, using their impressive client’s powerful brands to present their own brand in a good light. This is intelligent use of customer feedback and will encourage trust from potential customers.
Photo credit: AJ Cann / Flickr