How closely do you listen to your customers? Your answer to this question could very well determine the future success of your business. Obtaining customer feedback is a crucial part of any good marketing strategy, as it gives your client the sense that they are in an active partnership with your business, and if necessary, opens a door for them to voice their concerns (or praises!) regarding your services. A few easy ways to gain this feedback include:
- Social Media- If you would like a quick answer from your general customer base about a specific idea (think: “What is your opinion on our new hours?”) or just want to encourage your customers to tell you what they think about their experience with your business, head to Facebook or Twitter.
- Online Surveys- Sites like www.surveymonkey.com (low cost) and www.freeonlinesurveys.com (not quite free, but very low cost) allow you to create surveys and polls to distribute to your email list or selected clients and they compile the results for you!
- A Feedback Form- Make sure there is a place on your website for customers, past and present, to type up their thoughts, grumbles, and compliments. These messages can go straight to your email where you can respond to them, or if the person posts anonymously, you can take them to heart.
- A Phone Call- Yep, we’re going to go a little old school here and suggest that sometimes the best way to show your customer that their opinion and satisfaction is important to you is to pick up the phone and ask them yourself! However, and this is a good principle to follow with all new clients, find out the way they prefer you to contact them. Perhaps an email might do the trick.
So you’ve used one or two of these methods to check up with your customers and have gotten some feedback. Now what? First, don’t take negative comments personally. Instead, use the criticism to shape and fine-tune your business practices. The purpose of acquiring customer feedback is to use it to make positive changes, and when a customer sees that you actively listened to their suggestion or complaint, they will trust you that much more. It’s all about the partnership.
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