Customer Feedback Fundamentals: What Do Your Customers Really Think?

blog title getting customer feedback 351x200 Customer Feedback Fundamentals: What Do Your Customers Really Think?

Ask open-ended questions to foster feedback

No matter which tactic you take, you need to invest time in your questions. Write quality, open questions that will elicit meaty responses and uncover what your customers think. Open-ended questions are those that go beyond a yes/no answer – and instead encourage and enable the participant to tell all. Yes, it will take more time to go through the responses – but what they tell you may be well worth it.

What to do with the findings

Once you’ve conducted your research, it’s time to evaluate it.

First and foremost, read it. Really read it. Read between the lines, too. There may be one note buried somewhere in a customer poll that is extremely helpful to you. There may also be things you can immediately disregard. A tactic I recommend is to see what comments keep coming up. Look for the things that customers are telling you over and over. What is rising to the top. Also, be sure to have an open mind when you read.

Once you read and discern, prepare for action. Make a short list of three or four key things you can do, change, or create to help address your customer’s feedback. Prioritize that list and work it in to your project calendar. Then get to work!

Don’t forget to loop back to customers to let them know you’ve heard their feedback, too. For example, issue a press release when you make a change. Write a blog and say “thanks to recent customer feedback, we’ve done X.” Let them know you are listening. A great example of this is My Starbucks Idea. It’s a website that lets the coffee chain’s customers make suggestions. Starbucks also takes the time to tell customers which ideas they’ve greenlit. As a customer, this makes me feel like there is a venue for my feedback. I feel heard. Not to mention exhilarated if my idea makes it through.

These final few points tie into customer lifetime value. By giving customers a venue – by truly hearing their feedback and engaging with them – you help establish a personal connection and potentially long-term relationship with your customers. And that’s the ultimate payoff: You make a lifelong fan.

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