Feedback is one of the most important things you can receive for your business. Without it, how would you know what your customers want, what they like, what they don’t like, and what you can improve on? Living in such a quantitative world – where everything can be measured- why wouldn’t we use the data gathered from our customers to improve how we interact with them?
Using data from surveys can allow us to more quickly and efficiently implement customer-centric business strategies – from better understanding our customer’s needs and wants to improve their overall experience. The data can also be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and offer intel about competitive advantages against competitors. But more importantly, getting and using customer feedback can lead to increased referrals and client retention. Customers not only need to find value in your product, but they also need to know that you value them and what matters to them.
Before you can get feedback from your customers, you need to know who your customers are if you don’t already. You should be able to answer these basic questions about them:
- What are their demographics – Male or Female, Gen X or Millennials, location, income, etc.
- What are they buying? And when are they buying? Is there a pattern?
- How are they buying? Online, phone, in person.
- What’s the average purchase?
Once you know who your customers are, it’s important to know how they feel about your company. The survey should be simple, take only a few minutes, and ask the right questions. It’s vital that the customer feels like their information and feedback is valuable to you, but also that you are gathering the information that you need. Here are some standard questions to ask when sending out your first feedback survey.
- How likely would you be to recommend our service/company to others?
- How satisfied are you with your experience with XYZ company?
- How well does our product or service meet your needs?
- If you could change just one thing about our products/services, what would it be?
- What 3 features are most important to you?
- What makes us stand out from the competition?
- How would you rate the value for the money?
- Would you purchase from XYZ company again?
- How responsive has XYZ company been to your needs?
- Any additional comments?
Regardless of the questions you ask, your goal should be two-fold: (1) provide customers with an opportunity to tell you how satisfied they are and (2) gather insights into your customers which improves your ability to attract, sell to, and prevent them from abandoning you for a competitor. Companies that can satisfy their customers’ values and needs are more likely to come out ahead.
Paul A. McLaughlin, Jr
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer