Ok, so let’s have some real talk for a minute. We all know that customer feedback is immensely important for businesses more than ever before. But… how do you get it? And how do you improve customer feedback so it’s useful and can be put into action? These are common questions. Luckily, we know just how to get customer feedback that’s high in both quantity and quality.
Make it quantitative.
One of the best forms of quantitative customer feedback is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) model, which we use with our clients. In a nutshell, you send a survey to your customers at (not annoying) regular intervals and ask them one to two questions; how likely they are to recommend your business to a friend or colleague and why or why not. This type of survey typically uses a scale between one and 10, and it can be done almost instantly with a click of a mouse. We also choose to keep the responses anonymous.
If you’re looking for meaningful customer insights, you may immediately dismiss this as too simple. How can something like this reveal anything about your buyers’ real thoughts and feelings? Well, here’s the deal. NPS and related methods are supposed to be simple. They’re able to get higher rates of completion than other survey methods because they’re so fast for customers to complete. And, you don’t have to stop at these numbers alone.
If you choose to obtain information vs. an anonymous approach, use it to your advantage. With responses on the lower end of the spectrum, you can direct your customer service department to reach out to these folks to see how they can help improve their experience. Middle of the road respondents shouldn’t be ignored, either; they can be sent to customer service reps as perhaps a bit lower of a priority than the first group. High scores can be sent to your marketing team as possibilities for referrals, case studies or testimonials. This takes a simple survey foundation and allows you to take action based on the results.
Of course, quantitative feedback isn’t enough on its own. To really understand your customers, you need to pair it with qualitative research. Most often, this is in the form of interviews. Many companies struggle to book feedback interviews with customers because they take a decent amount of time and people are busy. This is why it’s really important you make the interview worth their while. They’re helping you out by giving you their time and thoughts, so you need to help them out in some way, shape or form.
Maybe you send them a gift card for a neighborhood restaurant or a box of cookies after they complete the interview. Or, you could entice them to agree to the interview in the first place by offering 10% off or free shipping on their next order if they’ll take the time to speak with you. Any of these methods can work; you just need to find out what appeals to the specific customers you want to interview.
Once you book an interview like this, try to keep it short and worthwhile. Ask them how they found your company, what they’ve liked about working with you and what they haven’t. Don’t shy away from asking hard questions; it’s important to hear all the positives and negatives so your company can improve. After the interview is over, that person’s feedback shouldn’t fade into the ether. Make sure you have a plan for sharing that feedback with the rest of the team, and routing it to people who can take action on it. This is the best way to make customers feel heard, and continue to give them what they want.
It takes time and intention to get meaningful customer feedback, but few things are more important to your business. Aim to gather both quantitative and qualitative research, so you can get the most three-dimensional view of your customers’ feelings. Need help getting a customer feedback program like this started? Give us a call!