10 Smart Ways To Collect And Utilize Customer Feedback by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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As a business owner, you know your customers should be your top priority. If you aren’t meeting their needs, your success—and the future of your business—will be jeopardized. And what’s the best way to find out if your business is delivering what your customers are looking for? It’s simple—ask them.

To find out what your customers really want, it’s important to have a process in place for collecting feedback and, more importantly, putting it into action. We asked a group of Young Entrepreneur Council members to share their best tips for gathering and using customer feedback. Here’s what they had to say.

Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share tips to help businesses collect and make productive use of customer feedback.

All photos courtesy of YEC members.

1. Use The Net Promoter Score

Most companies that want feedback overwhelm their clients with surveys. I know I’ve bailed out of 10-page surveys from hotels, airlines and others because they were too time-consuming. The best way I’ve found to get a pulse on how customers feel is using a Net Promoter Score (NPS). This simple question asks, “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” The response ranges from 0, for not at all likely, to 10, for extremely likely. Averaging the responses across your entire customer base gives a clear indicator of how customers feel about you (and a number you can improve on). Anyone rating your business less than a 7 should be followed up with (they are unhappy). Someone who gives a 9 or 10 rating should be engaged for testimonials and referrals—they are your promoters! – Jeremy Brandt, WeBuyHouses.com

2. Combine A Feedback Request With Product Updates And Announcements

Make your customers a part of your business by asking them to participate in the development of your service or product. This will show them that you really care and make them feel valued. You can leverage your email list for this matter. For example, if you regularly notify your customers about updates and product/service news, you might as well ask them what they think about it and what else they would like you to add or change. The most active users may respond with honest feedback or even share some specific suggestions for improvement, which is something that you don’t always get from online reviews. This is the right time and place for asking people to share their feedback, because it makes the interaction more personal. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Text Customers Immediately After Service

At my company, we use feedback software that sends a quick text survey right after their massage appointment is completed. This allows us to gather accurate feedback in real time, as well as the opportunity to respond immediately to any guest who was unsatisfied with their experience so we can remedy any issues. Getting feedback right away is seriously important to keeping our finger on the pulse. – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

4. Provide Incentives For Survey Participation

The importance of direct feedback from customers cannot be overstated. Customer surveys can yield important data about your product, marketing and customer service. When distributing a survey, make sure you offer your customers compensation in exchange for the time and energy it takes to complete a survey. This will increase your pool of respondents and encourage customers to offer their honest opinions and feedback. Evaluate the survey results by comparing them to past feedback, current practices and future goals, then make any necessary changes to improve your product, services, marketing and customer service. – Daniel Griggs, ATX Web Designs, LLC

5. Collect Live Chat Data

One of the best ways that a business can gather consumer feedback is by using a live chat feature on its website. It’s a simple way to gather real customer feedback in an affordable way. This also helps determine the issue or problem a potential customer has so the business can answer all questions and overcome objections in its marketing copy. We have a live chat function on our pricing page to increase conversions and lower the number of people who abandon carts. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Fem Founder

6. Read Their Comments On Social Media

Some customers aren’t comfortable speaking directly to brands. Instead, they’d rather ask questions of their peers or share their thoughts in social media comments on each others’ pages. To gather more consumer feedback, listen to the conversations happening about your brand, even when you’re not the direct recipient of the message. Simply tuning into what others are saying about your brand can help surface interesting insights about the questions, concerns or misunderstandings they have about your product. While some product messaging may feel obvious to you, it might not be for the average consumer. In other cases, you might notice that some folks appreciate certain aspects of your brand that you may want to promote more heavily in your marketing. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

7. Check In With Customers Regularly

Customer satisfaction must be the No. 1 focus for any business to be successful. To ensure satisfaction at every step in the customer journey, the most important tip I would offer is to regularly check in on happiness, and don’t be afraid to ask regularly. We have two regular steps in our process: First, every two weeks, all customers with active engagements with our team are sent an automated survey asking how their experience has been in the last two-week period. Automated surveys, of course, do not have the best response rates, so this must be accompanied by a more manual method. So, as a second step, we have a member of the leadership team check in on all clients at random intervals through personal phone calls, asking if there’s anything we can do to better their experience. – Keith Shields, Designli

8. Talk To Customers Face-To-Face

In this internet era, we are too reliant on online surveys for feedback. Critical feedback is found when you engage face-to-face with your customers. Even if the sample set is smaller, you will learn an incredible amount. More than 90% of communication is nonverbal—how much more can you glean without saying a word? Even with e-commerce, tech or online businesses, the ability to rehumanize the products is critical. We took one company that had an incredible product for online reoccurring revenue capture for entrepreneurs but didn’t have a voice to it. We decided to let their clients give them a voice. This led to outreach to their longest reoccurring clients about why they used their tech, and how. What came out was their entire marketing strategy, spoken in their clients’ voice. Marvelous. – Codie Sanchez, Cresco Capital Partners

9. Ask The Right Questions

In order to collect effective customer feedback and make it useful, you need to be asking customers the right questions. For instance, instead of asking, “Do you like our product?” and getting a simple yes-or-no answer, you need to be asking questions like, “What is your favorite feature of our product? What is your least favorite feature? How can we improve our product?” and so on. The quality of the answers depends on how you ask the question. So, if you want information that you can actually take and use to improve your product and not just gauge how happy your customers are, you need to be asking the questions that will give you that particular type of feedback. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

10. Make It Easy To Provide Feedback

If you want feedback from your customers, you can’t make it complicated. Keep questions short and simple, and don’t make your surveys too long either. There’s a thing called “respondent fatigue,” in which survey participants become tired of the survey task and therefore the quality of their answers decreases. So, be sure to keep your customer feedback surveys short by including only the most important questions. You could also use an online form-builder tool that has a feature that allows logged-in users to save their survey and resume it later. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

June 13, 2019 at 08:16AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/06/13/10-smart-ways-to-collect-and-utilize-customer-feedback/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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