What is Customer Feedback & How to Work with it?
Customer feedback is a piece of information provided by customers about their experience with a product or service.
Despite the fact that many owners of online stores, especially new ones, are completely oblivious to this moment, in fact, customer feedback remains very important. First of all, you need to understand that having reviews increases sales significantly. They help a potential customer get rid of doubts about a particular product and make the final choice of a product from several similar options.
Sometimes it might look like customer feedback is something you can neglect and skip. We won’t agree with that since there might be plenty of answers that you’ve been searching for in that feedback.
It might be hard to start collecting feedback if you’ve never done it before. But this should not stop you from engaging with your customers and clients. This is a chance to build the community you’ve hopefully been dreaming about.
Customer feedback is a valuable resource that serves as the basis for understanding the needs of your audience, developing a strong competitive strategy, and improving products and workflows.
You should have some kind of system to collect feedback. Even the most simple systematization will benefit the business, and you will be able to actually get some information from it.
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What is Customer Feedback?
By the end of the 20th century, marketing in the United States and Western Europe had developed to such an extent that attracting a new client became more expensive than the profit from selling a product or service to him. For growth, new drivers had to be found, and one of them was a client or user experience.
Customer reviews are important for both companies and consumers. Thanks to this information, other people can learn about the quality of goods or services and make the right choice. There are even special websites where people review different products and services. This means that everyone can write any review about the desired company.
Doing everything to ensure that the customer who bought their products was satisfied not only with the purchase but also the service, companies began to form an army of fans who, without knowing it, promoted the brand among their friends and acquaintances. However, there is another side to this phenomenon. There will always be customers who are not satisfied with your products or services. Thus, they spread the bad word about your brand, leaving you with fewer potential customers among their friends, relatives, and random people on the Internet.
Why Is Customer Feedback Important?
Feedback builds customer trust. A product without reviews is suspicious the same as the one with only positive comments. Companies often publish good impressions and are afraid of criticism. But users do not believe such responses and go to independent sites where they can read unfiltered reviews from anyone or search for such on social media.
Unscrupulous companies ignore and remove negative reviews, but this approach only annoys customers.
We highly recommend that you work with both good and bad reviews as you can control them in one place rather than all over the Internet. Don’t hesitate to talk with people who don’t understand your project as much as you do. Write them back and tell them that you have seen the review and will do your best, and that nothing like this will happen in the future. Many business owners offer some kind of freebie to be friends with the person who had a negative experience with the brand. But we must warn you, it’s better to make sure your product is superb, and you can recommend it from the bottom of your heart.
Negative comments should not be left unnoticed. It is necessary to understand what the dissatisfied customer wants to achieve and, if possible, solve the issue. And this must be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. In this case, handling the negativity will benefit you, and you will not only turn this customer into a grateful one but will also increase the loyalty of other users who will ascertain that your company is truly focused on meeting their needs. Do not miss the opportunity to expose the process of solving the client's problem for all to see.
The feedback can also be used in the work of the marketing and sales departments. It helps identify the strengths of the product, which can later be used to create a unique selling proposition and understand how the product is perceived by the audience. The identified strengths can be used, for example, when writing advertising campaign slogans or email newsletters, as well as during the direct communication between sales service specialists and customers.
If the consumers are satisfied, they will remain loyal to your company. A dissatisfied buyer will sooner or later find a better alternative and leave. If customers express their dissatisfaction, you should immediately respond and fix the problem. This is a great opportunity to get them back and even increase the loyalty level. Sometimes it happens that the most loyal customers are not those who have had an extremely positive experience using your services but those who have encountered problems and received help from you.
Read more on this topic in our article “Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Definition & Questions Examples”.
How to Make a Perfect Customer Feedback Strategy?
Set up a feedback system. Most business owners disregard it but they shouldn’t as each client:
- will tell you what you are doing wrong;
- will express what is not ok about your product or service;
- will point out strengths;
- will help identify unscrupulous employees (for example, a rude sales manager).
Let's see how your customers can leave feedback. Each of these types requires different actions from the client.
The buyer or customer takes a photo of the product or the result of your work. This photo shows clearly what is good or bad and is a direct proof of their words. Taking a photo is not that difficult since everyone has a smartphone with a good camera. But in most cases, the client doesn’t want to give feedback at all. Therefore, you need to come up with some kind of trick to push the client to take a photo: for example, a bonus in return.
This feedback type has the same issues as the previous one. It takes a lot for a customer to shoot a video. Usually, only two types of clients do that: either they are extremely satisfied or vice versa.
And as it was said before, you can offer something to your client in return for a video review.
The client will be interested in leaving the video when there is a possibility to receive a gift. And if you provide the customer with a discount code, they will order something from you next time as there is an available discount.
However, this will not work for everyone as many people are shy or afraid to speak on camera, but there are brave ones who will do it gladly.
It is easiest to give feedback in the form of text. But even here, it is not necessary to require the client to write a lot (and expect that they will do so). However, there are more chances to get feedback in the form of text.
Other types of feedback include telephone conversations, personal meetings, or audio recordings. But they are not used so often and can not be applied in all business areas.
How do you get feedback from a client? People are reluctant to get in touch, even if they like everything. They speak much more actively if they are dissatisfied with something. And then, they will rather go and talk about you in reviews and on social networks than address the company with a claim.
You need to build relations with clients in such a way that they know they can contact you in any case: whether they are satisfied or there are any issues. Show that you are ready to communicate with customers and that the opinion of each of them is important to you.
And ask customers for feedback. It is better if they leave it within 24 hours after the purchase.
The 5 Customer Feedback Methods
So, now you understand why it is important to work with all types of feedback, including negative ones. Let’s see how you can get them.
1. Social Media Surveys and Dedicated Feedback Topics
The easiest way is to ask people for reviews while they are in their natural habitat, a.k.a. social media.
As you remember, Facebook has an option for creating groups for your business. This is more than just a page. It is a place where you can communicate with your customers faster, obtain their feedback, and, in some cases, create communities if it is required.
Besides, Facebook itself asks people to rate pages and groups, so your group will most likely have some rating that is based on your customers' reviews.
2. Get the Feedback via Email or an App
Invite customers to rate your service. Send an email or in-app message asking the customers to rate your service. You can also do this through messengers.
Do not make a big rating scale. Place 5 stars where each customer can rate your product or service from 1 to 5.
3. Call Your Customers
How about calling your customers and asking for feedback? If some services allow their robots to call people asking to rate their service, so can you. Besides, you will receive additional comments to broaden feedback and get more than just simple answers such as “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. Your customer might even have some suggestions on upgrading your service, so why don’t you use such an opportunity?
Create a script that will help you get the necessary information from the client. Think about specific answers when the person is unsatisfied. The best tactic is to stay positive and offer your help to solve the issue.
4. Offer to Fill Out a Questionnaire
Questionnaires are another way to get feedback. You can send the questionnaire to the customer’s email or offer to fill out a paper in case the client contacts the company's office.
Try not to bore people, so do not ask a lot of questions. Stick to 3-5 questions and check that each can be answered within one minute.
5. Personal Meeting
This option works best for B2B, and it is better to set up a personal meeting with those customers and partners with whom you have been working for a long time. Remember that the time and place of a personal meeting should be suitable for your client.
You can safely use several options for receiving feedback. The main thing is to determine what is important for you at the moment: to evaluate the work of the manager, the speed of delivery, the packaging, or it is better to find out the wishes of the client. Then you can easily decide which method of communication with the client to choose. For example, if you have questions about the work of a manager, a satisfaction rating scale works best. And if you want to receive offers and get to know the client, try a questionnaire.
Read more on this topic in our article “How to Get Customer Feedback: 4 Ways”.
You and only you can decide how to receive feedback from your customers. Remember that it should be convenient for the client to contact you, and giving feedback itself shouldn’t take a lot of time. The best option to save customers’ time and get some ƒ scale is to place a questionnaire with multiple choices.
It is important to process and analyze all feedback, recommendations, suggestions, and complaints that you receive in a timely manner.
Complaints must be responded promptly with a solution offered. Do everything to ensure that the client is satisfied in the end.
Recommendations and offers need to be checked for viability. Don’t forget to thank your client for spending time sharing their experience and ideas for improvement. Lots of big companies build their business based on those ideas and achieve great success among people.
And always thank the client for any feedback, in whatever form, and in whatever way they would leave it. After all, it's just good manners.