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5 Effective Ways to Gather Customer Feedback

Sep 23, 2016 by Stevie Valle

Customers have a lot to say.  Whether they want to share an amazing experience, or tell you what isn’t working, if they can’t find a way to reach you, or think their feedback isn’t valued, they may take their business elsewhere. Finding out the way your loyal customers feel about your business can help encourage innovation within your team and help you connect with your customers. But how do you capture feedback that is both beneficial to you and your customers? 

Follow-Up Email Surveys

If you’ve ever contacted customer service, or even shopped at a large retailer, you’ve probably came across a few survey requests in your inbox. Surveys are the most common way companies gather feedback, making most customers already familiar with the process and more likely to respond.

Since a lot of business communication has already shifted towards email, your customers are already expecting to receive emails from you. Take advantage of this and float them a follow-up survey by phone or email after any project or customer service interaction. Keep the survey short, relevant, and use open ended as well as close ended questions to get the best representation of your customer’s experience and hear exactly what they’re thinking.

Community Forums

There are many reasons to host a forum on your website. You’ll boost customer engagement, website traffic, and customer loyalty, but you can also find useful customer complaints and compliments within each discussion.

Customers rely on forums to discuss topics relevant to your brand, get help from others in the community, brainstorm new ideas or feature requests, and even to complain. Regularly reading these forums will not only give you an idea of what new features your customers want from you, but also gives you the opportunity to address and resolve any concerns directly.

Social Media

It’s estimated that at least 65% of all adults are on social media, so if you’re not, you’re missing out on one of the top ways customers share their feedback. Make checking in on your activity, mentions, and brand specific hashtags part of your daily routine and don’t forget to respond to all compliments and complaints! 

These same customers expect their favorite businesses to have a presence on social media and will often attempt to reach out through Twitter or Facebook before calling you directly. If you’re not present, you’re missing an opportunity to gain valuable feedback while building your reputation by providing a helpful response.

Monitor Major Review Sites

Review sites, like Yelp or Google, are one of the top resources for finding out what your customers think about your business. Though it may not always be pretty, customers use these sources to tell the world about their experience with your company. 

A great thing about these sites is businesses can reply to reviews. Though you’ll want to tread carefully here (publicly arguing with a previous client isn’t good for anyone), with the right response, you can not only seek clarification on the customer feedback, but showcase your company’s commitment to customer service. And don’t forget to thank those who praise you! Positive feedback to let you know what you’re doing right is just as helpful as the negative.

Regular Check-Ups

Nothing beats the personal touch your customers receive from a periodic check up call. These check ups can help you disperse business critical information to your customers, but are also a great opportunity to ask them directly how you are doing. 

Everyone loves to be asked for their opinions, and customers are no exception to this. By asking them for their feedback, you’re showing your customers they are a valued part of this partnership. You’re much more likely to receive valuable, candid responses if you’ve spent time developing a relationship and regular check-ins are a great way to do just that.

 

Knowing what your core client base wants and expects from your company is a vital pillar of success for your business. Being proactive in seeking this feedback subtly lets your customers know you’re here for them first and foremost, boosting customer loyalty and brand reputation in the process. 

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