If you own a business — no matter how small — feedback from customers is a valuable resource. While at times it might be hard to hear, even customer complaints provide an opportunity to make changes and improve.
When it comes to customer feedback there are many different types. However it often falls into two main categories:
- Feedback given to you without you specifically asking for it
- Feedback you actively ask customers for through surveys, email or in-store checkout
Both types of feedback are extremely valuable to your business.
Customer feedback you don’t actively ask for
Some of the main ways you may receive customer feedback without asking are:
- Feature requests (e.g. Could you offer this in more colors?)
This is feedback from customers related to ways in which they believe you could add value or improve your product or service. More often than not it is generated from a desire for a product or service to:
- Have more options
- Do something it doesn’t
- Desired improvements to its current functions
It is important to keep track of feature requests, as happy customers are integral to any business.
From a business perspective, reading customer requests and improving your product or service with these in mind can greatly improve your chances of success. Making changes in line with what customers are requesting adds value and is both strategic and smart.
It is highly likely that somewhere along the customer journey, potential customers will ask questions. Although questions might not seem an active form of feedback from customers, they can actually provide you valuable insight into where your processes or systems may be lacking.
If you begin to notice a trend in the types of questions being asked, look at how you could make this information readily available and easy to find, so people don’t need to ask for it. This will reduce time on your side and ensures a robust and efficient customer process and experience.
Reviews are customer feedback that might be given on your own website or on other public sites. They can be positive, but they can also be a form of customer complaint. The important thing to remember is both are helpful.
Keep track of reviews not just on your own platforms but other sites as well.
This can be done through manual browsing or setting up notifications.
Reviews give you the opportunity to address a customer’s experience publicly and directly. Always respond with a thank you — no matter which side of the coin the review falls on.
A positive review gives you the chance to also ask if anything further could be done to improve your product or service. A negative review allows you to ask what caused that negative experience, so you can then look to make improvements.
Praise and testimonials are when customers take the time to freely share positive information on their experience.
This type of customer feedback can be used to sway other potential customers throughout the buying journey. It can help to establish your authority and also build like, know and trust. It’s a good opening to ask if there is anything further you could improve on.
Customer feedback you actively ask for
When it comes to seeking out customer feedback there are many different ways this can be done, some of which are:
- Customer surveys
- NPS (net promoter score) responses
- Ratings in-app
- Feedback after you’ve provided support services
This is a popular way to gather feedback on a customer’s experience of a product or service. Generally done via email to existing or new customers, a customer survey is often sent to those who’ve just made a purchase. This type of customer feedback can also be done at regular intervals throughout the year, depending on your business.
Surveys can be a great way to gauge customer satisfaction, but they can be time-consuming to complete.
To maximise the number of people who respond, ask clear questions that enable a quick response. Yes/no, true/false or multiple choice can be great options.
When including questions with scope for a lengthier response, place them at the end of the survey. And always include an option for the customer to provide further information if they wish to do so.
Providing a discount code for future purchases, a free downloadable resource or other gift can be a great incentive to encourage customers to complete the survey.
NPS stands for net promoter score and is a simple and effective way to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction.
It works on a scale approach. Asking the customer on a scale of 1-10 how likely they would be to recommend your business/service/product to a friend or colleague? Along with why they chose that particular score.
Responses are then split into three customer categories:
Scores of (9-10) are known as promoters. These can be considered loyal customers that would be most likely to recommend your business to others.
Scores of (7-8) are passives. They see your business or product as neutral or okay.
Unlikely to promote your product, the key is turning passive customers into promoters.
Asking these customers how you could improve your product or service and customer experience can be useful information to help you make improvements.
Those who score (1-6) are called detractors. From a business perspective, these customers are most likely to complain and comment negatively regarding your business, and therefore are the customers you should address as a first priority.
Finding out why they rated your product or service so low and what you can do to address their concerns is important to improving the customer experience for everyone.
Another great way to ask for quick and simple feedback is through in-app rating systems. As with NPS responses, it is important to include a question that asks the customer to further explain their choice of rating.
This method of customer feedback can be both simple to implement and easy for the customer to complete.
Feedback post-support services
You might look to give your customers the option to rate a support service interaction, post the service provided.
This type of feedback is less about a customer’s experience with a product, and more about their experience with your staff/support system.
The data can then be used to calculate a customer satisfaction score. This type of feedback is just as important as feedback related to a product or service. As the support service you provide is also part of the customer experience and journey.
Collecting feedback from customers
Gathering customer feedback might seem like a tedious exercise at times, especially when dealing with customer complaints or negative feedback.
The important thing is to view any type of customer feedback as a positive.
All feedback is valuable. As a business, it is important to not just collect the information, but to use it to improve your customer experience, your products and your services.
A business’s success is largely based on its customer experience. This is why implementing ways to gather customer feedback, and then using that feedback to make positive changes and improvements to your business and the customer experience you provide, is so important.
When looking to gain customer feedback, focus on ways to gather feedback that are most suitable and viable for your business. Always see all feedback as a valuable resource to only improve further.