It’s pretty obvious that everyone wants to make their business better. One easy to way to improve your brand, boost sales, and better your company is by gathering and responding to your customers’ feedback. Gathering feedback from current customers can help you tailor your products or services to their needs, as well as look to the future for newer, better products, services, or business methods.
Customer feedback can help improve your business model and relationship with your customers; you can also use it to sharpen your business marketing tactics. Check out our top 5 tips for collecting and using customer feedback to boost your business!
1. Collect Email Addresses
Email is one of the most simple, direct ways to gather direct customer feedback. Email marketing is a low-cost, rapid, direct response tactic used by both small and large businesses. Collect email addresses through your website, app, or in-store and send out the occasional survey asking, “How can we do better?” Make sure you ask for both positive and negative feedback – you want to keep the things you’re doing right and look for areas you can improve.
2. Social Media & Social Listening
Social media platforms are an excellent way for small business to collect customer feedback in real-time. “Social listening” is when businesses track what is being said about their company online. By monitoring the “buzz” on social media platforms, businesses can adapt their products, improve their business, and reply to customers’ concerns.
According to Social Media Today, “22% of the world’s population use Facebook, and 76% of those users logged in every day in 2016 … on any given day Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the US … and 81% of Millennials check Twitter at least once a day.” It’s clear that the vast majority of consumers are using social media to stay informed, pursue trends, and make purchases.
Tools that can help you use social listening to improve your customer feedback include Google Alerts, Mention, Social Mention, Brand Watch, or Who’s Talkin. Each of these tools is user-friendly, so even low-tech entrepreneurs can learn how they work. They’ll let you know when users are talking about your brand so you know how they feel about you – as a bonus, you get an opportunity to engage with them!
3. Onsite Analytics
Monitoring customers’ onsite activity by using analytics shows you exactly how your customers are interacting with your website and with your products. Onsite analytics can help small businesses compile, process, and analyze data gathered from customers’ online interactions with their website or social media. Businesses can then use the gathered data to tailor their online marketing. The best news is that these online analytics can be surprisingly cost-effective.
You’ll be able to tell what pages and products your customers view, the path they take through your website to the checkout, and what kinds of customers are buying and what aren’t. That tells you how your website is working and how you may be able to improve it.
For more online analytics and small business, visit Business News Daily’s 8 Big Data Solutions for Small Business.
4. Feedback Surveys
Customer feedback surveys gather direct information from your customers. The idea is to reach out using a brief survey, sent to your mailing list or posted on your social media pages. You can also ask customers to answer a quick survey right in your store. Customers love to know that you care about their opinions, so they’re fairly likely to participate. Make sure to keep it fairly short – customers will be a lot more likely to answer 5 questions than 50.
For practical tips on how to write and implement useful business surveys, visit 10 Essential Tactics for Creating Valuable Customer Surveys.
5. Talk to Them!
One of the benefits of running a small business is that you have the unique chance to build relationships with each of your customers. One of the easiest — and most impactful — ways to get direct feedback from your customers is to ask them for their opinion.
The example which comes to mind is the diner owner who walks around the restaurant checking on the patrons during the dinner rush. Other small businesses could use this one-on-one relationship to inquire about services, what could be improved, and other issues of customer satisfaction. Building this kind of personal relationship can even lead to customers coming directly to you without you asking to let you know what they’re loving and what needs work.
The Customer Is Always Right
Your business depends on your customers. That means you need your customers to be happy. And that means getting their feedback. It’s simple! It’s also cost effective – all of these tools are free or very low-cost. So get out there and make your customers happy!
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