Why customer feedback is important: 5 reasons
Imagine you manage a business and have done almost everything to succeed. It seems like you have set up everything, automated some processes, and your business works properly. Do you think it is enough to have a successful business? Not yet of course. You see, if you manage a company that provides its services to the customers, be it a cafe or a shop, you face some kind of customer feedback. And you must know the most proper ways to collect customer feedback, and, what is more important, what to do with the feedback itself. That’s why we decided to write about the importance of customer feedback for your business and the customer feedback benefits. Keep reading to find out why customer feedback is important and what to do with the feedback.
Why is customer feedback important?
We are sure you are doing your best to satisfy your customers. Anyway, even if you improve your services every day, there will always be problems or defects in your work. And there will always be the other side of it - you can never see your services as objective and real as your customers do. That is why customer feedback is important and why it is always important to keep proper communication with your clients. They will always give you the real feedback from your business - their experience, changing requirements, your faults and failures, needs for improvement, tips, and insights on how to become better. And all this is a piece of priceless information that no business development specialist can give you.
Now, let’s start with the question you may ask first of all - what is customer feedback? Actually, it is a piece of information provided by your customers about your business. When you provide any kind of service to your customers, you need to create a way for your customers to contact you back in a convenient way to tell you if they have had a good experience, if they have liked your services, if you have met their requirements, if you need to improve your business in any way. And the customer feedback is not always negative - your clients may highlight things they have liked the most in your business and you will know if you are doing it right.
So, you may ask how to start collecting customer feedback? Do it in any convenient way but make sure you keep all feedback so you can work with them later. For example, if you are a company that provides particular services to your customers, you may create short and informative questionnaires for your customers who have already tried your services and you can send them via email or CRM system.
You can also share a questionnaire on your social media pages if you have any, and ask to answer a few questions. This may feel a bit awkward if it is your first time but believe us it is worth it. Your clients will spend a few minutes answering but you will get useful information to work with.
There are a lot of other ways to collect customer feedback. For example, if you have or manage an online shop, you may share some questions directly on your website or even social media pages. These can be polls, open questions, anything. Make sure you keep all data to work with it later. Of course, these options might not work for you if it is a business of another type. For instance, if you manage a restaurant, and you need to collect some real feedback from your customers to improve your service and to give a better experience to your clients, you may create small cards with questionnaires on them and give them to your guests with the bill in the end. Questions may be different, like “How did you like our food” or “Please rate our customer service”, etc. These are of course very approximate options, you can write down and ask anything you need to know exactly. Besides, the staff should ask regularly if your clients liked the service overall, the quality of your place, the food, etc. Make sure you don’t ask just formally: get an advantage from each question to make your business better for your customers.
So, let’s sum up the ways to collect real customer feedback to get the most out of it:
- Make regular calls to your clients,
- Create a live chat support system to keep in touch with clients and solve their problems quickly and collect feedback from chats,
- Create forms you can share with clients to get detailed feedback,
- Start surveys via email,
- Create a convenient space on your landing page to write the feedback,
- Start polls online via social media pages or websites,
- Ask for feedback at the place where you provide your services (shop, cafe, restaurant, etc.),
- Use your social media pages to share polls,
- Create a space for feedback right on the order confirmation page, etc.
You can add the options that work exactly for you, but make sure you stay relevant to your field and business. Don’t get too friendly asking about their opinion if it is not your communication style. But don’t be too formal if your tone of voice is overall friendly and direct.
When you just start collecting customer feedback and haven’t done it until now, you may be shocked by the results. Some feedbacks may be very negative, as you provide services to customers and you cannot please everyone at once. It takes a lot of effort to find out your customers’ problems and start solving them. Don’t get disappointed at all.
Remember that even the most negative feedback you can ever imagine will give you only the best - it will help you solve the problems of your business. Moreover, don’t think that feedback can only be negative. Customer feedback is not only the complaints of your clients. It consists of positive comments as well, and it is not less important than the negative ones. When you get some positive feedback, you must work with it as well, and it will lead to improvement of your services. You will know how to optimize your products and services, and continue working on what your clients like the most. Moreover, you will be able to measure consumer satisfaction and get insights for yourself on a better customer experience. All this means you will start running customer data-driven decisions that will definitely help you succeed in your field.
You may ask: now what to do with the collected feedback? Actually, this is the question that not all companies ask themselves. Some of them collect customer feedback and don’t use it, but it’s not our story. First of all, what you need to do with the collected data is to categorize them based on the topic, the product, the service, etc.
Choose what exactly works for your company. Then, study each case of a complaint or positive feedback separately. Keep records of all the feedback, and change the status of each case when you process them or when you solve them. You must have the exact pattern of the feedback of your customers. It will be a little bit complicated in the very beginning but later you will get used to regularized and orderly track of the feedback. You may want to keep records for each week or month or half of the year, based on your needs and the quantity of the cases. Study each case carefully and involve specialists from your company that you know may help with solving problems.
In reality, working on your business development and investigating customer problems at the same time will bring you great results. If you don’t get any feedback you would definitely discover some problems and faults of your company much later, and it could ruin your whole business. Imagine having a constant problem and not knowing about it for a long time. How would you feel? And with a stable customer feedback collecting system, you will know about your results almost immediately - and it will be much easier to fix the problems.
Remember that customer feedback will come to you itself as well. It sounds a little bit strange, but you yourself can see how different people can write reviews of various businesses not in a review space of the business page but, for example, in a forum, in booking or trip advising websites, or even write reviews as posts and publish them on social media.
Don’t be afraid of public reviews about your business, even if some of them can be negative. All this will help you become better eventually. You can track these kinds of reviews with keyword searches, and you will be aware of everything that is being posted on the Internet about the products or services of your company.
So, let’s dive into the main topic we wanted to share with you: the customer feedback benefits.
1. Business improvement
This point may sound general, but it is true. You see, the top specialists of communication and marketing say you should give space for your customers to complain. Like literally, they need an area, be it a feedback card or a survey or a poll, to write down or say what they think about your business. And no matter how it will sound or look like - you may feel shocked at first, but this is how you gain a chance to work on your business and the products or services you provide.
How else would you know if you meet your customers’ expectations if not through their feedback? Call them, contact them via email, give them surveys, cards, ask them to rate the customer experience they had when dealing with you, and you will know the truth. You will know exactly what they like and what they don’t. Besides, what is more important, communicate with your customers regularly.
A customer feedback collection is not a one-time thing to do, but it’s an ongoing process. Ask for their opinion regularly, and you will not only know what they liked or disliked in your company but you will pay attention to their changing needs and requirements. Of course, their opinion and experience may change from time to time. And what once satisfied your customers might not be relevant anymore. They may need a more detailed and individual approach with time, and you will have a chance to modify your services under their needs.
2. Loyalty maintenance
We bet you have already seen companies that don’t have a proper customer feedback processing system. They work the way they want and find it right and don’t ask you if you need anything else. You cannot contact them in case you have problems. This may be because of the total absence of communication with customers. But this may also be because they have automated everything possible in their business.
Remember: automated processes are great as they save a lot of time. It is fast, convenient, it is ready-to-go, already categorized. But sometimes people need to talk to real people. Not every kind of problem may be solved with automation. Sometimes customers have very unique needs and it might not be complicated at all for you to fix the problem. That’s why you just need to listen to your customers from time to time.
We have seen companies that constantly work on their good name by using some very useful techniques in communication and customer support systems. One of these techniques is giving direct access to your customers to contact the CEO or the shareholder of your company. Of course, we don’t tell that the CEO must sit and speak with each customer on behalf of your customer support representatives. But you may give a space for your clients to write a letter directly to your CEO or even open another email for your CEO and announce that at the service points. For example, you may want to put a sticker on the cashier desk of your shop with a few words, like “If you have any feedback you can contact directly our CEO via this email…”. And wait for magic: with time, you will start getting well-constructed and informative feedback from your customers and start working with it.
Having features like this shows your company cares about your customers’ opinions. You show that you value each customer and you are ready to work on your flaws so your clients get a better experience when dealing with you. Gathering customer feedback is always great practice for any business.
3. Customer satisfaction measurement
Collecting customer feedback can be very different based on the way you do it. In fact, customer feedback collection has a huge benefit which is customer satisfaction measurement. It has different methods and you are able to choose which one works for you. One of the most effective methodologies of measuring customer satisfaction is NPS - Net Promoter Score. This methodology is based on one easy question that discovers how likely it is that a client will recommend a company to his relatives or friends.
Answer options for the questions are based on a 0–10 point rating scale, with 0 which means the worst option, and 10 which means very positive. This method is easy and universal, so every company can use it for client satisfaction management. It is one of the best solutions for customer feedback collection and you will get your clients’ answers in a much shorter time than in the case of other methods of communication. Moreover, these answers will be a lot easier to categorize into topics, and you will straightforward start working with the feedback. It is a time-saver for your clients as well, as no one wants to spend too much time describing his/her customer experience with your company.
In fact, customer satisfaction says a lot about your company’s performance overall. And measuring the satisfaction of your customers will help you predict its performance for the future. As well as you will have some good insights for your management staff on where and how to move now.
4. Create a better customer experience
Do you think all companies take the same steps for customer satisfaction? Believe it’s not that easy. Not all companies have the necessary staff, tools, systems adopted for good and effective communication with the customers. That’s why we suggest you take all necessary steps and start communicating with your clients and collect their feedback: you will be ahead of the competition.
For sure, your customers see the difference between companies that value their opinion and those that don’t - and they choose the first type over the second. You would do the same as a customer, right? Then think like a customer first, and never forget how you feel when using a service or a product from a company that does not care about customer experience. There is a great saying - listen to your customers; otherwise, your competitors will. Couldn’t agree more, right? Now think about how many companies started communicating with their customers before you? This was one of the main reasons why they succeeded.
5. Adopt the "customer is always right" attitude
We can tell you about millions of examples when the company did not succeed just because it did not accept that the customer is always right. You see, anything you do, if you provide services or sell products, the most precious thing you will have are your customers. You cannot continue your activity if you don’t have the necessary audience and loyal customers.
We know that in some cases, customers’ feedback can be biased or directed from your competitors. In some other cases, your customer can be really wrong. But these cases don’t work every time. These could be only a few cases in your whole business activity. So don’t think about these exceptions when collecting customer feedback and analyzing it.
Imagine yourself on behalf of each customer and analyze what would you do if you could fix the problem. Then do it! When you adopt this position that your customer is always right, they feel it and know that you are not against them and every fault you could have was not intentional. This means a lot to many customers. And one day you will have to understand the fact that anything your customer says will only help you become a better company, a more successful business, and a brand of the first choice for your audience.
Remember these reasons when managing a business, and of course when starting your own business. Even if you have a team that does not get the importance of customer feedback or if the top management of your company does not value the opinion of your customers, you should always highlight its importance by yourself. You may also want to start tracking customer feedback by yourself with fewer tools and automation techniques in the beginning, but we bet your team will say thank you for the final results later.
Imagine how your company position will change if you input a whole system for customer feedback collection. And how many insights you will get to improve your business, modify your products and services, implement great changes and take your company to another level.