The Value of Customer Feedback
Why It Is So Important for Businesses Today
Customer feedback is essential for businesses to discover what consumers think of their company, product, or service. If companies can successfully identify what their customers find important, they can react faster, more flexibly, and more effectively to both changes in the market, and customer expectations and needs.
5 Effective Ways to Collect Customer Feedback
Nowadays, anyone who wants to buy a new product or use a service has many ways to find out about it in advance. This could be on social networks, forums or review portals. Existing customers’ praise or criticism can influence a company, its potential customers, and their satisfaction. The majority of customers then read the feedback and product reviews of other consumers before making purchasing decisions. Recommendations from friends and acquaintances can also convince undecided customers to buy. Just like the saying “The early bird catches the worm”, it is now a force of habit for many companies to obtain feedback directly, before customer’s opinions are shared with others in public. This way, they can collect valuable input from their customers and thus get one step ahead of their competitors. Yet, it is often a long journey to get there. Even with a large customer base, not all customers are ready or prepared to express praise and complaints. Often the customer responses differ in their quality and length. As with gold mining, it is important to take a close look at the feedback and separate the qualitative good from the bad. The following options are particularly effective for collecting customer feedback:
Corporate pop-up events are growing in popularity. They offer customers space where they can emotionally perceive the company, their brands, or their products. Companies can use these events to get meaningful insights about their customers and their business. Attendees at pop-up events are often very engaged and interested in the company or product making them first-class feedback providers. At the same time, pop-up events create proximity to the customer: companies meet their customers face-to-face in a natural environment. You can ask questions, write down opinions, and ask for suggestions about what needs to be improved.
2. Customer surveys
The KISS principle (Keep It Short and Sweet) wins out here: gaining customer feedback does not always have to involve complicated and lengthy market research. Customer surveys can take place via software, email, website, or social media. A simple survey on Twitter, Facebook, or a short survey by email or in a customer newsletter can be created quickly and costs few resources. A look at the stars awarded on an online rating system is often enough to estimate roughly where you stand.
3. Feedback by email & phone
Why not pick up the phone and ask the customer directly? Challenges and problems can be discussed directly and personally on the phone. Companies can also inquire about features that may be of interest to their buyers. Alternatively, you can replace a call with an email with a personal message. The shorter the email, the more likely the customer is to respond to it. If possible, companies should only ask one question and avoid using marketing terms and empty phrases.
4. On-Site and In-App Feedback
Customers who already use a product or a service provided by the company can often provide particularly valuable suggestions. They have already engaged with it and can therefore provide detailed information on its quality. Analysis tools such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics can then help evaluate the answers. Those who want to offer their customers an additional service can integrate the feedback software directly into their web applications, websites, and other software products. Customers can easily leave their praise or their complaints in real-time.
5. Usability Tests
Usability tests are a good way of checking the usability of software or a product with potential users. They can be carried out during any project phase. In this way, companies receive feedback on initial ideas, mockups, prototypes, or finished products. Even if usability tests are a very expensive form of a survey, they often provide the best and most comprehensive kind of feedback a company can receive.
Conclusion: It Is Worth Getting Customer Feedback
The world is changing. Customer wishes, expectations, and needs are constantly developing. Customer feedback is therefore essential if a company wants to find out what its customers think about their company, products, or services. Perhaps their preference for one product is due to the lack of other options? What if competitors bring a similar product to the market? Then companies lose their advantage of being unique. Companies can benefit from both the praise and complaints from their customers. In Public Relations, in Marketing, in Product Development, in Sales, in Corporate Management, or in Customer Relationship Management, customer feedback can set new impulses. At the same time, customer feedback is a data source that gives companies an advantage over their competitors. If you know what your customers find important, you can react faster and more flexibly to changes. Hence, you can turn your knowledge into a competitive edge. To achieve this: keep customer surveys short and personal, and conduct them regularly. Then customers are happy to share their opinions with you.