How to make asking for customer feedback easier and more effective in your business
When was the last time you were asked for feedback in a restaurant? In fact, when was the last time you were asked for feedback in any consumer environment?
I would like you to think about your own experience as a consumer, and how you have applied the gathering and collecting of customer feedback in your own business.
Based on my own experience I think that most businesses can improve this process.
So let’s dig into it.
Asking for customer feedback is absolutely essential
Asking for customer feedback and checking satisfaction is a significant and very important part of your Keeping Customers Strategy. It’s the first thing you should do after the sale for two main reasons:
- You capture the recency; the immediate feelings from the purchase and experience. You don’t want to wait too long because your customers won’t tell you and their emotions will have changed. Get them to give you feedback when they are emotionally high from their experience from doing business with you.
- When you check satisfaction, and it’s good feedback, you can then continue the relationship building process by asking for referrals and getting involved in up selling and cross selling – you don’t want to do this with people that have had a bad experience.
What’s your objective?
Think about why you are collecting feedback, what’s the purpose? Here’s some examples:
- Are you doing it to get constructive feedback so you can improve your service?
- Are you doing it so you can collect information from your customers?
Going by all the poor attempts to collect feedback from most B2C businesses in the Fife area, I’d have to make the conclusion that most businesses don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. (I’ve got a rouges gallery of bad feedback forms growing in a folder in my office)
In most cases it’s probably because they think they have to, or because it’s what everyone else does.
Here’s what’s wrong with most customer feedback processes:
- Not asking the right questions
- Not asking for the feedback
- Not incentivising it
- Not making it easy
- Not following up
How to improve your customer feedback process
One – Ask the right questions
In most cases, these questions are the best questions you can ask your customer to get the best responses:
Q1 – What did you enjoy the most about…?
Q2 – What did you enjoy the least about…?
Q3 – If we could do just one more thing to make your experience even better, what would it be?
Q4 – Would you recommend us to a friend?
Q5 – We’d love to send you a birthday gift. Tell us your birth date and email address.
The key thing is to ask open questions – avoid asking closed questions as much as possible. For example, don’t ask ‘Did you enjoy….?, or ‘Is there anything we could do to make your experience better?’ You’ll end up just getting a lot of Yes’s and No’s. This won’t help you achieve your objective. (This doesn’t go for Q4 above :))
Also, don’t ask too much at first as it can create a barrier. Once you get their details you can continue to grow your information and get closer to your customers.
Open questions just like the questions above will allow you to get rich feedback that you can then do something with. The results are far more useful than that of closed questions.
Two – Ask for the feedback
You have to ask for it. People rarely do things off their own back. If you have a front line/customer facing team get them involved too. If you are confident about your products and services, and people enjoy the experience, they won’t mind telling you that.
Ask people what they think. It’s a nice thing to do.
Three – Make it worth their while
Think WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me” – this is what most of your customers will be thinking. Why should your customer take time out to give you feedback? Give them a relevant incentive.
You could make it a prize draw or a special offer. Make it something relevant where they can re-experience your products or services.
Four – Make it really easy for the customer
Time and attention is precious. Therefore you have to make it really easy for your customers to give you feedback.
- If it’s a paper feedback form – give your customer a pen and only ask a few key questions – make it quick and easy.
- If it’s electronic, make sure they can do it right there on their phone – either by text or mobile form/survey. (Note: make sure people can get a 3G/4G reception or have free WiFi available)
Top Tip: If you want to make it super quick and easy – train your team to ask customers key questions and collect verbal feedback.
Five – Say thank you and follow up
When you receive the feedback, and assuming you have collected an email address or mobile phone number, you can follow up to say thank you. At this point you could deliver a voucher, special offer, gift or anything you really feel is relevant and rewards your customer.
Taking action in your business
There are many ways to ask for feedback from your customers, and the way you do it will be different depending on your industry and client relationship.
Take this opportunity to look at your process and see how you can develop and improve it. Map out the process, look at the questions you ask and see what you can do to get more constructive feedback and use the information to develop your products and services.
I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on this topic. I invite you to email me or leave your comments on my website.
Have a great day,