How to Get Customer Feedback and Why It's Important

coffee customers.jpgThe Importance of Customer Feedback

Your customers should change your business, no matter what industry you work in. There’s a reason that so many people say, “The customer is always right.” In a competitive market, with an audience that focuses on online reviews before engaging with you, customers rule.

But if this is true, then why do 63% of consumers say a business didn't reply to their review?

The importance of feedback from customers cannot be overstated. Let’s take a look at some of the hard facts surrounding customer feedback and explore the value of applying that feedback to create real change in your business.

Why Does Customer Feedback Matter?

Companies that listen to customers (and act on client feedback) are more successful than those that don’t.

Of companies that are rated to deliver “best in class” performance, 70% use customer feedback to change the way they do business. Not only do buyers’ comments provide an opportunity to learn about your company’s shortcomings, but in today’s digital world, business owners can learn even more through a two-way dialogue.

Using Client Feedback as a Communication Tool

If you can talk to your clients, you should. Client feedback that involves a two-way discussion is some of the most valuable input a company can obtain, and a good place to access these conversations is on social media.

Social media feedback can be highly intimidating; reviews can be ferocious, but in the event of a genuine piece of negative criticism, companies can learn an enormous amount of valuable information—and even repair a damaged relationship.

As frustrating as social media can be, there’s a silver lining: For both in-person and social media reviews, over 71% of ultimately positive customer experiences started out as negative ones.

This opportunity is even more powerful since it is public, and potential buyers can watch how you successfully listen and adapt to a complaint. If you executed great customer service, you’ll learn about where your company can improve, win back a dissatisfied customer, and even attract new buyers.

How to Solicit Feedback when Customers Aren’t Providing It

While customer feedback is incredibly important, it can be tough to get. In fact, only one in 26 dissatisfied customers complain. So what should you do when it gets quiet on the customer experience front? Gently solicit feedback from your clients. First, try extending the opportunity. Nearly 50% of customers don’t offer feedback because they simply don’t think it matters.

By actively asking your clients for feedback, however—and better yet, explaining how that feedback will apply to company changes—you can show that you truly care about your customers’ opinions. These are a few ways to solicit feedback:

  • Customer surveys
  • An in-office feedback box
  • Follow-up phone calls

Remember: Customer feedback isn’t just a barometer for your company’s performance—it’s an opportunity to change the way you run your business to better suit your customers’ needs.

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