7 tips on how to obtain insightful feedback from customers
The customer has the final say. That is not only democratic, but also helps every business optimize their own products, service offerings, marketing and internal operational processes. The problem, however, is a familiar one: How do you obtain usable data? Here are seven tips for acquiring informative customer opinions.
Tip 1: The Personal Appeal
Classic face to face communication almost seems to be obsolete in this digital age. It requires a lot of effort. However, direct contact is still the most revealing where “reading between the lines” or unexpressed emotions are concerned. Each discussion develops its own dynamic and thus can lead to totally new realizations. What holds true here:
- Open questions (which allow the customer a lot of leeway to answer) provide more information than closed questions (with yes/no answers).
- If problems come up, the responder can ask the questioner for help.
Companies with direct customer contact (also including, for example, online or telephone support) can use these opportunities for feedback discussions. This is specifically very effective when the discussion springs from a customer’s own initiative. It’s important here that the employee has access to standardized questions, which can be represented in a handbook, for instance.
Tip 2: Obtain Feedback through Facebook & Co.
Where do customers most enjoy spending time? These days, that is most often in the many social media forums. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others offer various options for getting in contact with potential and existing customers. Criticism and praise can best be gathered via the comment functions.
Obtaining feedback via social media accomplishes two objectives:
- The primary goal lies in collecting the true customer opinion about products and services.
- Another secondary, interesting side effect is created: Nice reactions to customer feedback are perfect for public relations purposes. The corporate image profits when customers are taken seriously.
Social media feedback is public. That means, even those who were not interviewed also see these interactions. This has a favorable effect on the enquiring company’s reputation.
Social media is also wonderfully suitable for building an online community. Existing trends can be analyzed there, and new trends anticipated.
Tip 3: Obtain Feedback from the Crowd
Soliciting feedback through clicks? Crowdsourcing offers efficient solutions for that. For example, at clickworker over 2 million people are registered who enjoy participating in surveys. The largest advantage to this method is the incomparably fast recruitment and response as well as the large number of potential survey participants that can be segmented according to need or target group.
Clickworker offers solution templates for fast and self-sufficient commissioning and implementation of surveys. Managed service is also available.
Tip 4: Obtain Feedback through Terminals
Especially interesting for retailers or onsite service providers are so-called feedback terminals. These devices offer customers the option for suggestions, comments and opinions at the moment when their impressions are still fresh and undiluted. Willingness to take part in surveys grows the simpler the questions and the options for answering them are.
- There are various providers for terminal feedback who match the survey design to your corporate identity.
- Real time data transmission is also possible to achieve as prompt as possible analysis.
Tip 5: Obtain Feedback through Your Own Website
Today a company’s homepage is usually the first impression that is communicated to potential customers. A contact or comment function, for example directly on the landing page, inspires trust and demonstrates the business’s transparency.
Very simple comment functions can be integrated into the individual product and service pages as well. Examples include the familiar 5-star system that requires only a single click from visitors. Building on that, further questions can result, which the customer can answer if he desires. Standardized answer options and a simple rating system have a positive effect on the amount of information received.
Tip 6: Obtain Feedback with Contests
A good old-fashioned prize giveaway is still motivation for many customers to participate in a survey. In a store, for example, laying out cards with a QR code for an online survey would lend itself to this method. This offers comfortable access to online forms, which naturally are also suitable for quick completion by smartphone.
With survey cards in a business card format a company remains memorable to a customer. This method is suitable for in-person customer meetings or tradeshows. Even in the digital age it’s still true that something tangible has high value.
Tip 7: General Principles of Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Getting feedback from clients is possible in various ways. Independent of the customer survey method, there are important general rules that not only improve the quality of the results, but also improve customer participation and lower the abandonment rate:
- Short questions, short answers. Today’s customer is short on time. This should be kept in mind even when formulating the questions.
- Less is more. Three questions regularly produce better results than 30 questions. If you ask too much of a customer, you risk a high abandonment rate.
- Personal appeal. If you don’t know the name, personal formulations work well over the course of the survey.
Customer-oriented companies make sure to beneficially integrate feedback information into their internal processes. Beyond that the collected data can be used creatively for other purposes. One example is the tangible improvement of products and services. When the respondents recognize this positive development for themselves, the willingness to participate in future customer feedback opportunities grows.
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