Do you have customers that have become a one-and-done missed opportunity?
Why didn’t they come back?
Answering this critical question depends on a powerful tactic essential to every business’s success: Asking them. Below are five essential methods of engaging customers for feedback.
1. Survey New Customers
The moment a prospective customer chooses to become an actual customer is crucial for your business. Send new customers a survey via email or SMS text to gain insights into this decision so that you can create better first impressions—and better site conversion—in the future.
- Lead the survey with a simple, easy-to-answer question. For example: “Would you recommend ABC Widgets to a friend?”
- Follow up with multiple-choice questions asking what your business does well and what it could do better.
- End with an open-ended question that lets customers say whatever is on their minds.
- Allow enough time to pass for the customer to complete their transaction. If you deliver, wait until the customer receives their shipment to send the survey. 3-5 days post-purchase is a good rule of thumb.
2. Ask for Feedback on Your Site
Ideas strike anytime, but ideas for improving your website mainly arise while customers use it. Provide opportunities for feedback throughout your site experience to increase your odds of capturing actional information.
- General feedback form: Create a feedback widget that follows customers on your site. This allows them to share thoughts in real-time as they arise.
- Post-purchase survey: Take a more proactive approach by asking customers to complete a short survey after they make a purchase.
- Live chat sessions: Include a survey at the end of a live chat session. This is a great way to engage a customer primed to deliver constructive feedback about your business.
3. Ask for Reviews
Positive reviews will help promote your popular products and services. Negative ones will provide insights on optimizing what needs improving. There are two key opportunities to ask for reviews:
- On product and services pages: Add reviews to your site’s product and services pages with a prompt to leave one.
- Post-purchase email: Send an email or SMS text after customers have had a chance to use your product. The best time to do this depends on what you sell (and how quickly your customers will use it). A good rule of thumb is 10 to 14 days post-purchase.
4. Conduct Customer Interviews
Online surveys are the most efficient way to garner customer feedback. But personal interviews allow for a deeper insight. Customers have more time to share thoughts, and you can ask follow-up questions that online surveys don’t allow. Consider interviewing your customers in the following ways:
- Customer roundtable: Talk to a group of customers in a physical or virtual location about your company and their needs. This lets you gain multiple viewpoints quickly. One risk to this approach is groupthink: Customers often influence each other’s opinions.
- One-on-one interviews: Instead of talking to customers simultaneously, conduct separate interviews over a phone or video call. This allows you to receive uninfluenced opinions and engage in in-depth conversations to learn more about their needs.
- Multiple interviews over time: Take your insights to the next level by checking in with a regular group of customers over time. You can track their reactions to enhancements you make to your website and other areas of your business, plus learn about new needs and challenges they face as they arise.
5. Monitor social media
Surveys, forms, and interviews provide feedback in a controlled setting. Social media is anything but controlled, with positive and negative emotions often driving discourse. Monitoring and quickly responding to feedback on your platforms is vital to maintaining a productive conversation with your customers.
- Monitor comments: Enable alerts in your social media accounts to stay on top of replies, shares, and other customer engagement.
- Respond quickly and professionally: Turning a negative into a positive with quick and helpful responses on social media puts your customer service on display for all current and prospective customers.
- Engage in social listening: Social listening tools let you monitor online conversations about your company, competitors, and industry. They’re a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of your brand’s perception and emerging trends in your trade.
Additional Benefits of Asking for Feedback
The biggest benefit of asking for feedback is receiving honest opinions about your company along with other customer insights. But it’s not the only advantage you gain.
- Customer testimonials: Some feedback you receive will be positive, highlighting what you do well. Sharing customers’ enthusiasm for your company is a powerful way to build your brand’s credibility.
- Relationship building: Studies show that active listening—listening to understand—strengthens relationships. This is true for the relationship between your business and your customers. When you ask for feedback, customers feel heard and validated and develop a more favorable opinion of your company.
Portions of this article originally appeared on Quill website.
The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.