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How to Get Customer Feedback
Your customers want to give you feedback. You just have to know how to ask.
Maybe you’ve heard of a test audience. This is the Hollywood studio practice of inviting people to screen a movie ahead of the release date in exchange for their feedback. It’s costly, but movies can be substantial investments, so it’s important to get them right.
Of course, movie studios are businesses, and customer feedback is just as valuable to directors as it is to your business. The problem is tapping into your customer’s inner critic isn’t always as convenient as a free movie and popcorn.
The three categories of feedback
Feedback comes in three varieties: observed, given, and requested.
- Observed. Simply watching how your customers interact with your product, or how they respond to the service they receive can provide insight. You can also pull information from search results, support tickets, and online reviews.
- Given. Angry customers are possibly the most inspired of the feedback providers. Complaints to customer service, open service tickets, chat conversations, and social media messages are all sources of given feedback.
- Requested. Consumers typically like letting a business know they’ve done well. However, taking the time to do so is time-consuming. Whether it’s via email or in person, a little prompting from the business may be all it takes to inspire valuable feedback.
How to ask for feedback and get results
Now we’ll focus on the latter of the above categories: requested feedback. Asking for feedback is its own unique art.
- Face to face. There are two ways of asking for feedback in person: inquire, “How did we do?” or invite them to engage in an online review. It’s good to strike while the iron is hot. The customer is already investing their time with your company, so not only is it convenient for them but you’ll also get the opportunity to correct any failures. On the other hand, some customers may feel more comfortable being honest in the privacy of their home.
- Email. Emailed Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys are handy tools for gathering and assessing customer satisfaction. One benefit of emailed requests is that they serve as a reminder to provide feedback, while at the same time making it quick and easy to accept.
- Company-wide integration. The members of your team should know the significance of collecting and requesting customer feedback. Keeping employees engaged in the review process has two benefits. First, it encourages your team to request reviews while pushing them to provide exceptional service. Second, it lets customers know your entire company cares.
In a way, it really is all about customer behavior
The goal of getting feedback is both a better understanding of company performance and getting to know your customers. The more you know about customers’ behavior, the easier it will be to give them what they want.