This is a guest post by Alex Williams.
We always try our best to interpret why customers do certain things and what it is that they actually want from our business.
There are various statistics, analytics and data regarding that very topic, but the most important and most valuable one is customer feedback.
That’s why being able to get as much feedback as you can is extremely important for every business.
What benefits does customer feedback bring us? Well, we get direct insight into what they’re thinking and, combined with the statistics we already have, it gives us an opportunity to figure out the reasons for our customers’ actions.
Getting inside your customers’ heads is one of the main goals of a businessman, which is why what information is so valuable.
Knowing what people want enables us to provide it to them, make them happy and satisfied with our service, which further guarantees their loyalty and creates positive word-of-mouth marketing.
People are most likely to accept a recommendation from a friend, so this type of marketing is essential for any kind of business; there’s no better marketing than a happy customer.
We are going to focus on showing you some techniques you can use to ensure a consistent feedback from your customers.
There are many, but we will be aiming at our several favourites and most efficient according to some sources. Perhaps you’ll see some you already use, as well as a few new ones which will give you an option to reorganize if you’d like.
So, let’s go ahead and take a look!
#1. Focus groups
Many businesses use focus group feedback, especially in the beginning of their career. This is a type of research where people are asked about their opinions, needs and perceptions of a certain product.
Focus groups are extremely useful when trying to put your business in motion and you’re not sure what your target audience is yet.
#2. Usability testing
This is basically direct testing of your product or service by customers. They should record their encounter with your business.
That way you’ll be able to see their initial reactions, their first and second impressions about various aspects of what your company offers, as well as a general opinion of it in the end.
After a number of people test it, you’ll have enough data to create relevant statistics.
Another way to learn about customers’ opinions is by getting them to fill out paid surveys. Nobody likes doing any extra work for free. This is why these should be paid, at least symbolically.
This method makes both you and the customer happy. They got some money for giving you feedback and you got the precious information you needed.
#4. Social media
Be constantly active on social media. This doesn’t mean simply having your own Facebook page and a Twitter and an Instagram account. It means being present and engaging.
Posting pictures and catchy titles, as well as actively asking questions to your followers will make them feel free to express their opinions and that way you’ll get what you need and they’ll feel very special.
#5. Website activity
An indirect way to find out what your prospective customers want and how they act is by tracking down their activity on your website. This is a great way to get instructions on what people like and dislike regarding your site.
This means you can change it for the better based on clear guidelines and make people more satisfied with the way your website works.
#6. Feedback forms
This may be a bit aggressive, but simply making your customers fill out feedback forms gives you a chance to create an objective image of your own company through your customers’ eyes.
You can make it anonymous and hence less aggressive. Plus, this way, you can rest assured you’ll get honest answers.
#7. Written emails
This method may seem obsolete, but it doesn’t have to be, especially if your target audience is predominantly using emails as a way of communication.
Emails are a solid way to get feedback. However, they’re not anonymous and therefore, you may get more positive than negative criticism this way.
#8. Forum posts
If your emails become overcrowded with customer feedback, it may be smart to start a forum on your company’s website. It’s a great place where people can exchange their opinions, problems and comments.
You can be there to give them answers and silently observe the rest of the time and take notes of what your customers have to say.
#9. Suggestion box
Whether you choose to have an actual physical suggestion box in your office or you choose to put it on your website or social media, this is a good way to get people to open up and express their opinions.
A box should have a catchy title in the form of a question. It should be something that includes humorously asking for opinions and ideas on how to improve your service.
#10. Live chat
Interestingly enough, we’re all different people and prefer different forms of communication. Some prefer writing and anonymity, while others want to communicate face-to-face when giving feedback.
This is why you should try to offer several different ways of giving feedback in order not to miss a certain group of customers or visitors.
There are many ways to get people to give you their opinion on your blog or company’s work. The real trick is to know your target audience and adapt your feedback system to them.
Remember, you are here because of your customers and everything you do should happen because of their wishes and demands.
Since you wouldn’t have a business without customers, the happier they are, the more successful your business will be.
So, once you get the feedback you wanted, make sure to take both positive and negative criticism into consideration and take action. There’s nothing better than being acknowledged, so once you listen to your customers, their loyalty will be guaranteed.
All in all, you need to be a bit of a Sherlock and do your best to investigate the situation. You need to use both direct and indirect approaches in order to get the closest result to reality.
Information must be gathered and updated regularly, statistics to be made and records to be kept.
It’s a serious issue and once dealt with you’ll company will have an amazing advantage, both over its past self and possibly over a significant number of competitors.
Guest Author: My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog. Twitter