Want a Thriving Small Business? Focus on Customer FeedbackEditorial Staff
May 5, 2023
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos
Many business owners sing the ‘customer is king’ tune. But how many of us sing it like we mean it?
We all know we should listen to our customers. Your small business probably began because you chose to listen carefully to a problem and decided to do something about it.
But somewhere down the line, the focus moved to orders, invoices, hiring a team, social media presence, and pitching your ideas, along with everything life has thrown at SMB owners recently.
Listening to customers was a priority, but now it probably isn’t.
52% of people around the world expect companies to take action on the feedback provided by customers. Does your business have open lines of communication?
Nearly 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing a product. If your product is working well, do you let customers talk about it and advocate for your business?
Maybe it’s time to start listening to your customers keenly.
Why is Customer Feedback Important?
Customer reviews for business serve as a compass for companies of all sizes, pointing to timely opportunities and smart business decisions. 8 in 10 consumers consult online reviews for local businesses.
Investing in a strong customer feedback cycle is cardinal to developing those areas of the business that tend to get overlooked.
Benefits of Customer Reviews for Small Businesses:
1. Helps Improve your Products & Services
Intense market research and arduous labor are involved in launching a product or service. However, only customers are in a position to truly test the ease of use and practicality of the product or service in ways businesses don’t anticipate.
Reaching out to customers for feedback gives you a chance to improve what you love – your product and service. Listening to your customers’ opinions also helps your business evolve, and add new products.
2. Enhances Customer Engagement & Retention
Encouraging an open conversation with customers through feedback not only gives insight into your business but also makes the customers feel valued for their opinions.
When you act upon suggestions and implement changes, your customers take notice, and consequently, brand loyalty increases.
The process also enables employees and representatives to connect with customers and develop a strong employee-customer relationship.
3. Helps Detect Market Trends
Customer feedback gives real-time information on competitive or similar products trending in the market. You also get insights into changes in customer behavior. Access to relevant feedback helps a business understand the competition that meets your customer’s demands in different ways.
A 3-star review might just bring you the brainwave you need to solve a persistent problem. Just ask these top brands that used customer feedback to their advantage.
4. Assists in Useful Content Creation
Having the right content is crucial to educating people about your product and, eventually, converting them into customers. The best way to improve content is to ask your readers for their feedback.
5. Helps Acquire New Customers
Everyone today looks for testimonials, reviews of businesses by consumers, and crucial feedback to judge a brand’s reliability. For a small business, reviews are the most effective marketing tool.
The more (positive) chatter on social media, the more likely it is that your brand gains visibility and acquires new leads.
How To Get Feedback From Your Customers:
There are various inexpensive methods of getting feedback from your customers. These include:
- Live chat support
- Phone calls
- Social media handles
- Feedback boxes
You can also use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and WordPress plugins.
What Should You Keep In Mind While Seeking Customer Feedback?
Identify the Audience you Wish to Reach
Who do you want feedback from?
- The public
- All your customers
- New customers
- Customers that have purchased your product/service
- Customers that have had a problem
Knowing this will help you choose the right communication channel (email, Facebook, Twitter, phone) to reach out to the customer.
Your questions must be specific to the problems you are seeking to address. For example, if you want to understand the after-sales satisfaction of the consumer, you may ask questions such as:
- Did the support email clearly explain what to do in the event of difficulty?
- Are there any particular needs not being met by the service?
- Is there something the customer would like to upgrade or change in the product?
Make sure your questions are easy and quick to answer.
Make Customer Response Hassle-Free
Make it easy for the customer to respond to your questions in a guided and structured way. Value your customers’ time by keeping the interaction short and focused.
Maintain a balance between open-ended questions (that are descriptive) and close-ended questions (Yes/No, ratings, multiple-choice, text replies) to acquire wholesome feedback.
You can offer an incentive to the customers who provide valuable feedback such as:
- A small discount on their next/first purchase
- Discount vouchers and codes
- Early access to new products being launched, etc.
Be Sure to Act on Feedback
“Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say.” – Bruce Temkin, Founder, Customer Experience Professionals Association.
You may have received good feedback, bad ones, or a mix of both. Be encouraged by the 5-star reviews and motivated by the 2-star ones to evaluate processes or quality and formulate a plan to create a win-win for your customers.
What you don’t want to do is do nothing about that bad review. You might protest – With work, family, and everything else crying for attention, I just can’t commit to reaching out to customers on social media for the feedback!
Well, we could help you with that.
Sustain Customer Communications with “Prospur”:
We wanted to develop something more than just another CRM platform for small businesses, and in the process, we learned a thing or two about improving customer relationships.
The fruit of that effort is Prospur, our end-to-end business acceleration platform. Call it bragging, but Prospur has helpful features like Contact Management and Social Media Integrations that can take the hassle out of connecting with your customers regularly.
Check it out, and take a no-obligation, FREE Demo.