Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of feedback. Whether positive or negative, feedback gives you valuable information that you can use to make important decisions about your business. It is an effective way to get a sense of what your market and important stakeholders truly feel about your products and services. More importantly, feedback can give you concrete ways on how you can improve your business.
With the start-up ecosystem heating up, it is no wonder that customers are spoiled for choice. For each product or service offered, another similar one pops up soon enough. Unless companies can understand the factors that make customers stick, the churn rates where customers leave to sample a competitor’s offering will continue to rise. In many cases, new startups focus heavily on acquiring customers, but forget retention, not realizing that for any new product or service innovation, it is the existing users who will bring in others and it is this “core” that needs to be protected at all costs.
Why Gather Feedback?
Incorrect or absurd pricing will outcompete the firm from the market. Pricing can be captured through surrogate feedback or direct questions which try to hone in on the correct amount to charge for the product or service.
2. Product/Service features:
Many organizations fall into the trap of inside-out design instead of outside-in design for features. There should be no confusion between design and features. An Apple phone is a great design, but it would be a no-sell if it could not make calls, relentlessly capture features that customers need in order to be a complete product or service offering.
3. Retain and protect the “Core”:
The core customers are the early adopters. Maintain a strict focus on collecting regular feedback from these customers as they would be the start-ups extended sales force. Many start-ups fail here.
4. Helps you measure customer satisfaction:
Scoring customers on a satisfaction scale will determine how much at risk they are to leave for the competition. This scoring can be segmented by a salesperson to determine sales effectiveness or the effectiveness of specific departments such as operations and customer care.
5. Collecting feedbacks shows you value their opinion:
By asking your clients for feedback you communicate that their opinion is important to you. You involve them in shaping your business so they feel more attached to your company. Listening to their voice helps you create stronger relations with them. This is the best way to gain valuable brand ambassadors who will spread positive word-of-mouth for you.
6. Helps you to create best customer experience:
Today’s marketing is heavily based on experiences people have with products, services, and brands. They do not buy Apple products just because they are good. It is more about demonstrating their status and affiliation to a particular group. They do not buy Nike clothes because they are durable. They buy courage to extend their boundaries. Therefore, if you focus on providing the best customer experience at every touchpoint clients will stay loyal to your brand.
7. Is a reliable source for info to other customers:
In times of social media, consumers do not trust commercials or expert advice so much. Opinions provided by other customers who have already used a product or service are the more reliable sources for information these days. Many companies today incorporate review systems in their services and products. Think of Uber, or AirBnb. They all do their best to ensure that poor service will be detected and excluded from their business.
How to Gather Feedback?
1. Set up those Metrics :
Identify the most pressing concerns and derive metrics from those. Some examples are:
- Was the product or service upto customer expectations?
- Was the customer educated on usage?
- Would the customer recommend the product or service to their acquaintances?
- Would they buy the product or service again?
- How would they rate their overall satisfaction?
Companies can set up many of their own additional metrics relevant to situations at hand. It would be wise to remember that feedback is an ongoing exercise, so stagnant outdated feedback metrics which are not relevant anymore should be discarded and new ones introduced regularly.
2. Ask questions about product or service features:
Insert a free text box for customers to write what features they feel should be there in the product or service. While doing this, inform customers that this is very important feedback for the company and will be taken very seriously while upgrading the offering.
3. Have a dedicated number for the customer to call on:
There is a lot of debate between taking direct phone surveys and online surveys.
A good way would be to mention a dedicated number for customers to call in with their feedback. This avoids the problem of interrupting customers awkwardly while giving the company some conversion on direct conversations with customers. Don’t forget to have someone answer the phone when it rings! Online Vs. Paper Vs. Phone: If a service, ask your salesperson to always take feedback, if possible when the service has been consumed, use technology such as a tablet if possible.
4. Short in-app surveys
Customers are constantly thinking of ways your product can work better for them. Maybe parts of your app do not have what they are looking for, or maybe the design could look a little better, or maybe they found something that is broken.
Your users are in the app for a certain purpose, and it’s not a great idea to introduce a long survey to them. Keep it to two to three questions that are relevant to the page they are viewing at the time.
It is fairly understandable that all the factors are interrelated. One factor leads to another, leading to the bigger picture. Customer feedback and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. It helps you to understand your market on a broader aspect which in turn results in a fine-tuned product or service. In a way, you set a standard not only for you to meet, but also your competitors aspire to go beyond it. Be a trendsetter, with effective customer support tools and routine customer feedbacks.