Where and how should I be using customer feedback?
Customer feedback is one of the best tools available for a business to grow. Not only does it help a business understand where it needs to improve to keep customers happy, but good feedback can influence a potential customer's purchase decision.
Despite this, many businesses don't have a proactive feedback gathering process. For some, it's because they are unsure how to manage this process without annoying customers. For others, it's fear that the feedback will be negative and difficult to fix! (If this is the case, read our blog on how to respond to feedback here.)
If you're not sure how you could be gathering feedback to start with, we've provided a few simple ways you can get your customers engaged below.
If you have a Facebook or LinkedIn page, you may be able to look through the comments and see the overall sentiment of the products and messages posted.
Social media is arguably one of the most important feedback platforms, as it's also shared with potentially hundreds of viable customers. Places like Facebook also enable users to leave reviews of businesses to give other potential customers a sense of whether you are a good business or not.
Similar to Facebook, the world's largest search engine enables people to leave reviews about a business. Google has even begun pulling in reviews from other sites to make the searcher's results even more accurate.
How else can I track online mentions?
If you're using HubSpot then you can use the Social Listening tool to monitor interactions with your social media posts and mentions of your brand.
If you're not on HubSpot, then you can also use platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social to monitor and manage your social media presence. Even if you don't actively do much on Social Media it can be good to make sure that any mentions or comments are managed or noted either way.
With these functions easily available to consumers, whether your business is interested in getting feedback or not, the question now becomes 'what do I do with this feedback?'
What should I do with customer feedback?
Almost all customer feedback is useful. Even non-customer feedback can be an important way to learn of potential misconceptions about products or relevant industries. And if the same questions keep appearing, you can tackle those in a blog article or a FAQ page on your website.
Positive feedback should be shared around the team. Chances are the same people hear the good comments, and others are left to deal with complaints. Make sure everyone hears that their work is appreciated by customers - it goes a really long way!
What if I want to gather feedback proactively?
If you're looking to get feedback on a regular basis, then there are a number of things you can do to make this easier for you and your customers. We're currently in the process of building a platform designed to make it easier for businesses to gather, manage and respond to customer reviews online without breaking a sweat.
Ever seen three little smiley faces in a restaurant or on a web page which ask how your experience was? These small faces (typically a green smile, yellow neutral and a red frown) give a really basic reaction to a experience with a brand. While they may not give much context to the responses given by customers, they are more likely to receive a response over a lengthy survey.
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) typically asks customers to rate whether they would recommend your product or service on a scale of 1-10. Anything below an 8 is generally not positive and shows room for improvement. As you're asking whether someone would recommend your brand, this could be one of the most important metrics in getting new customers. You could use a system like Ask Nicely to gather an NPS score from customers.
If you want to get more detail from your customers, then consider using a survey to ask for specific answers on someone's experience. You could ask about customer service, product performance, or even include an NPS based score at the end to combine feedback types. A leading survey system to tap into is Survey Monkey.
Google & Facebook reviews
As good as feedback is for internal improvement and the occasional pat on the back, it is also good to use to acquire new customers. You can do this in the form of a testimonial or customer reviews on your website. By making these reviews public, they can be seen by potential future customers who will see that other people, like them, are happy with the service or product offering. This in turn develops trust and can aid in the decision making process for their purchase.
What do I do if I get negative feedback?
Dealing with negative reviews can be a worrying experience, but it can be a great opportunity to learn and showcase your excellent customer service skills. Even when the bad feedback is difficult to listen to, it can be a valuable piece of marketing. Fix their bad experience and future customers will see that, even when things go wrong, you'll be there to put things right.
If you'd like more help in discovering how you should be using feedback to aid your business and marketing plan, consider your SMART goals. Don't have SMART goals yet? Download this free template to get started in creating a more strategic approach to your customer feedback today.
words by Thomas Emmerson