by Ilona Hetsevich
Online marketing tools and social networks offer myriad opportunities to connect with potential customers and build strong relationships with existing ones. Unfortunately, some businesses don’t effectively seek honest customer feedback relying on what they think they know about the customer’s needs.
But just think about it. While the costs of getting customer feedback are minimal, the potential benefits and the resulting return on investment are pretty high. Here are five ways to find out how to make your customers happier.
1. Run online surveys
Take advantage of web based tools to create free surveys that look exactly like your website. These tools are intuitive to use, with no need for professional assistance. After having set up a survey, encourage customers to participate by integrating your survey with your email list and sending targeted messages. While closed-ended questions are much easier to answer and analyze, open-ended questions help find out what customers really think.
2. Provide feedback cards and boxes
As surveys are temporary campaigns, it’s also important to provide possibilities to share thoughts every day. Feedback cards available at the counter are perfect for businesses with physical locations including retail stores, hotels, and restaurants. For businesses presented online, feedback boxes should be available at the bottom of every web page so that visitors can send a message when something isn’t working properly.
3. Use social media
Using social networks to gather valuable information is effective and inexpensive. Start an initiative for followers to share their thoughts and be prepared to what you can get. Don’t get defensive if you receive negative feedback but respond to any complaints and show you appreciate their feedback.
4. Carry out usability tests
Before launching a new service, releasing a new app or building a new sign up process, test its usability to make sure visitors won’t get confused. There are services that help businesses receive these data at a very reasonable price. This may help see potential problems before they influence your revenue.
5. Contact customers in person
There are several ways to receive feedback in person although experts state that people tend to be more honest when sending anonymous messages. You can train your frontline employees to ask customers for feedback, or have managers contact several customers every week to find out if they are satisfied with services. Organizing informal meetings with a small group of customers is also a good idea.
Respond to the feedback
Once you receive plenty of feedback, filter through all the gathered data and try to see trends because it’s impossible to respond to every piece of feedback. If there are several customers mentioning the same issue during the same period of time, look into the matter to get a better understanding of the problem and take action to solve it.
Ilona Hetsevich writes on behalf of DotSurvey, a leading free surveys provider. She is highly interested in web analytics and market research. Knows 4 foreign languages, is fond of travelling and hiking, and spends free time by exploring new cultures and trying foreign cuisine.
dotSurvey | Courtesy of Ilona Hetsevich