Customer feedback provides a real-time measurement of how your business along with its products or services are performing.
Granted, it’s not always easy to hear what people really think about you. But knowledge really is power when it comes to remaining profitable, competitive and ultimately successful in business.
Therefore, you shouldn’t shy away from customer feedback but actively seek it out.
Without it, you’re navigating uncharted waters with no idea of where you’re heading, or even what dangers may lie ahead. So let’s get that map drawn up for your business in the form of customer feedback, so you can move ahead with confidence.
Customer Feedback: An Overview
Founder of Virgin Atlantic Richard Branson famously told Forbes that during a flight, he talks to the cabin crew and customers about their thoughts on working for or travelling on his airline. Richard notes all of their feedback down in a notepad so he can feed any good ideas back to the rest of the team.
He doesn’t have to do this, and you don’t have to ask your customers what they think either. However, without asking people directly about what they like, or where you could do better, you’re missing out on valuable insights.
So if you’re ready to collect customer feedback, some of the methods you could use include:
- Net promoter scores (NPS)
- Recommendation likelihood
- Sentiment reports
- Written feedback
From this, what you want to determine is:
- Do you have great customer service?
- Do you have great customer satisfaction?
- Are you listening to feature suggestions?
- Is your customer feedback aligning with your brand positioning?
Why Is Customer Feedback Important?
Without customers, you don’t have a business. But what can be really challenging is knowing how to attract new customers as well as retain your existing ones, unless you know what they are thinking.
Take the YouTube thumbs down feature as an example. Someone may like, or dislike video content – but why? If they do dislike it, is there anything majorly obvious users hate about it? Without tangible feedback, you have no way of knowing not only what the issue is but how to fix it.
Running a business is much the same, in that people can unsubscribe from your mailing list, downgrade their subscription or even switch to a competitor. Only if you regularly gather feedback will you understand why users either love or hate your products to be able to prevent that from happening.
Making Better Business Decisions
There is no industry in existence which doesn’t have competition on its hands. Take SaaS as one example, with research suggesting that 30,000 SaaS companies exist as of 2022. This figure was just 500 back in 2012.
So how does a business (of any kind) differentiate itself from its competitors, stay relevant and ultimately deliver something worth paying for? By using customer feedback to make informed business decisions.
Social media companies are the perfect example of this. Notably, the amount we’ve seen crash and burn over the years, or simply fall out of favour. Users report they hate changes, or that they don’t feel comfortable with certain privacy aspects. Yet, the company doesn’t act on this feedback and well, you know what happens next.
But by putting users first by collecting, understanding and responding to customer feedback, you have a much better chance of remaining profitable as a business.
Catching Any Small Issues Before They Become Full Blown Issues
Whether customers report minor issues or major ones they all count. In fact, if you end up with too many minor complaints about the same issues they usually turn into major ones anyway.
Customer feedback requires you to solve any issues that are reported to you. It may not seem fun at the time, but ultimately it’s a chance for you to become greater and better at what it is that you do.
So say your interface is slow, your website has broken links, or your users aren’t able to use a particular app feature easily – don’t allow these types of minor grievances to lead to the fall of your product when this is totally unavoidable.
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You Need The Real Cold Truth Sometimes
If you’ve ever seen ‘Undercover Boss USA’, in practically every episode the CEO of the company discovers major issues they had no idea were happening. But really when you think about it, you shouldn’t need a TV show making about you to know what’s going on in your own business.
Poor communication in conjunction with being surrounded by too many ‘yes’ people is a disaster for any business. For some, it’s so easy to get absorbed in your own success, to the point you lose touch with reality.
Embracing customer feedback and being constantly aware of it is important for every member of the team so that everyone can work together to create a better outcome as a result.
To Get User-Generated Content
Even your marketing plan can benefit from customer feedback in the form of user-generated content.
After all, it’s one thing if you toot your own horn. But to have a whole orchestra of customers saying great things about your company, products or services is a whole different beast. A friendly beast at that.
For potential customers who actively seek out reviews before purchasing, this type of content can be hugely profitable for businesses. You may even discover some wonderful reviews about your product you never would have received had you not asked. So try it!
How To Get Customer Feedback
Customer feedback can be gained in many ways. If possible, you can physically ask someone. Or, you could call them up or even write to them.
However, in today’s digital world, customer feedback usually happens over email. Specifically, using your email marketing platform such as GoSquared Engage to ask for feedback.
What’s handy about this route, is you can choose who you want to target. So for instance, engaged users who are actively using your products the most. Or better still, disengaged users along with those at risk of churn.
If someone unsubscribes from your mailing list, or downgrades their subscription – ask them why. Likewise, if users are spending a lot of time interacting with your website and often purchase from you – what is it that keeps them coming back so you can do more of it?
What To Do With Customer Feedback
- Produce tangible data you can use for visual and written reports
- Make informed changes to your business strategy, its products and services
- Ensure all teams (i.e. marketing, finance, HR etc.), work more cohesively
- Create compelling pitches for investors and stakeholders
- Tell customers they’ve been heard and that they are valued
- Use customer feedback to aid recruitment processes
- Reflect on customer feedback over time to map the long-term health of your business
- Understand your role as a company founder, along with how you can make the most impact
Collect, Measure And Act Upon Customer Feedback With Ease With GoSquared Engage
The time has come for you to collect some customer feedback so that you can get back in the driving seat. Know what your users think to see what to keep doing well, and most importantly, where improvements are needed to prevent user churn.
All of this and so much more is possible with GoSquared Engage. Since 2006, we’ve helped thousands of businesses just like yours to effectively reach their audiences, build their subscriber lists and ultimately market their products and services successfully. All through email marketing!
Check out GoSquared Engage today, and learn how you can grow your business through our email and messaging software.
Or, if you like the look of our product shots from our EcoSend tool, why not sign up for your free trial? EcoSend is also packed full of features to help you market your business but with a special difference: it’s our new climate-conscious email marketing tool.
For any further help on all things customer feedback, along with how to use it to improve your business please get in touch.