Many in business coast along assuming that all is right with their customers. It can be quite a shock to start seeking customer feedback and realize that there are a mountain of challenges your customers face with your products and services that you knew nothing about.
People often ask me how you know if your marketing messages are working. I reply that the only way to know is take your messages for a test drive and then sample your market to see what message they are receiving. Feedback often highlights large gaps in the message you think you are projecting and the message people are receiving.
Here are some of the ways you can garner customer feedback:
- Ask for it. At every customer interaction. After every event. Hosting a webinar. At the end engage the participants in conversation and ask for their feedback. Finished a customer support call. Ask for feedback.
- Survey your customers. Do the survey online and insure it is easy to start, pause, resume, and complete. Ask open ended questions. While much harder to process than multiple choice questions, they provide critical insights that can let you improve your business. Remember that offering something special like a free Nano iPod (costs less than $100) to a random survey participant can improve response rates. Giveaways inject lots of fun into the process.
- Host customer events. Whether this is a customer day or a multiple day user group meeting, the key is to find ways you can provide value to your customers. While providing your value, seek feedback. Customer events produce a lot of feedback. Welcome the chance to receive it.
When you are done share your customer feedback with your customers. Open communications, admitting to your faults, and telling people what you are going to do about them builds trust. Trust builds repeat and new business.
In the end, you have to build a culture that demands customer feedback. Rather than creating the assumption that no news is good news, great companies know that constant customer feedback and improvement is the only path forward. Are you prepared to seek your customer’s feedback?