It’s a simple fact of life: Most of us are pretty opinionated. That said, we have a tendency to keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves much of the time unless asked to share. In some cases, this is a very good thing (like when Aunt Shirley serves her “famous” tuna casserole at Sunday dinner). In the case of your business, however, customer feedback – both positive and negative – isn’t just something you want; it’s something you need. There is no better way to engage people than asking for their opinions.
Most are typically all too happy to tell you what they think about anything. It’s great news for you, because without customer feedback, it is exceedingly difficult to move your business forward. This is where you learn what you’re doing right and, more importantly, what you’re doing wrong regarding your overall approach to your business.
It’s true that there is a market for any product, but if you aren’t connecting with that market effectively, you are limiting your success. There is no better connection than the one that is formed out of sincere concern for what the market wants. That is where customer feedback comes in. Here are five key benefits your company can reap from conducting regular online customer surveys.
5 Important Reasons To Get Customer Feedback
1). Customer Feedback Helps You Better Identify Your Target Demographic
When you solicit feedback you will find that most responses fall into one of three categories: extremely positive, extremely negative, and a decent quorum of responses that are somewhere in the middle.
These are among your most valuable participants because they often provide details about how they think things could be better. If they are willing to take the time to do that, it means they recognize your vision and want to be part of it; they believe in you and your product and want to help make it better.
Crunch the numbers in each category and see if you can figure out what demographic is most prone to dislike your product or brand. Stop marketing to those people immediately. Next, use the detailed positive feedback you receive to go after the positive responders and show your audience that you’re listening. You can then focus your marketing efforts on the most lucrative demographic with a much clearer idea of whom your buyer is, which leads to the next benefit…
2). Customer Feedback Helps You Develop a More Accurate Buyer Persona
If your business has not invested the time and resources to create an ideal buyer persona, it is missing a vital piece of its marketing puzzle. Having one will allow you to zero in on the precise likes, dislikes, and buying habits of your most likely customers.
Use the data gathered through online feedback to create a comprehensive persona (or two – one male, one female, if applicable) and use it as a model for all of your marketing efforts. Speak directly to your persona in your content, your ads, your print marketing materials, etc. Revisit your data regularly via online surveys and feedback, and make the necessary changes to keep the details about your buyer persona current and relevant.
3). Soliciting Customer Feedback Shows Your Desire to Improve Your Products and Services.
There is no such thing as a perfect product or service. There is always room for improvement. The problem is that, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we tend to take a swell of pride in our successes and can often fail to see the flaws. You need to be willing to see the full picture and how your product, service, and brand are being received. Be willing to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly because knowing all of them will only help you improve.
4). Customer Feedback Starts Some Very Interesting Conversations.
Get into the habit of soliciting feedback via social media. All of it, whether positive or negative, will help build trust in your brand. The positive comments will accentuate the fact that you have something special to share with the world and create a buzz.
Negative comments serve two very positive purposes. First, it allows you to shine when you respond professionally and with genuine concern. Second, your loyal customers and followers will be quick to come to your defense.
“Well, what happens if one negative comment opens up a huge can of worms and my page gets flooded with negativity?”
Apparently, if that is happening, you have a lot of room for improvement. Look at it as a positive: You can stop spending money and time building something that people hate and focus on improving your brand image. You might very well win over some of the haters when they see you took them seriously.
5). Customer Feedback Creates Loyal Long-Term Customers.
This one goes without saying. Take a genuine interest in your customer’s’ opinions, and they will take a genuine interest in your brand. They will also buy from you, share your content, and spread excitement for your products or services like wildfire. When people find something they like, they tend to stick with it. This is why it’s so important to know what they think and be willing to make changes when they become necessary.
A Final Word on Negative Feedback
Never, ever let ego get in the way of keeping your business moving forward. Do not debate or in any other way confrontationally respond to negative feedback. An ounce of humility (even if you think the opinion is completely insane) is worth far more than a ton of “I’ll show them!” Want to show them something? Show them that you took their comment seriously and show them how you intend to improve based on their customer feedback.
You’ll be glad you handled it that way.