In an economy increasingly centered on the shopping experience, customer feedback becomes something truly valuable for companies and professionals. In the vast majority of cases, ideas for better services and products come from an active listening to the wishes and needs of those you want to become your customers. The customer satisfaction (and so his feedback) is, however, something that often is underestimated. Starting from what is your vision of how your product or service should be, create something that your customers do not need. The result is an offer that does not meet a market need because it does not really solve a problem.
Customer satisfaction: what is feedback and why it is so important for (any) business
First of all, we believe it is useful to clarify what we really mean by the term feedback. You’ve heard of him many times but … what is his true meaning? The definition of feedback is:
“Useful or critical indication given by one or more people in response to a certain action made by a second person or a second group of people”
In the business we can translate this phrase as the process by which a company acquires the opinion of its client about something that concerns
- the company itself
- the product
Understanding what you want and your customers need is essential for you to create the best shopping experience. You can use the answers, usually given by a questionnaire or market research, to meet their needs much more effectively than the competition. In return you will gain their trust, which will lead to new purchases increasing loyalty to your brand, making it a point of reference in the industry.
In an increasingly competitive market, customer satisfaction is (almost) everything
As the market becomes increasingly competitive, companies and freelancers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of customer feedback. Stop for a moment to think: did you ever go to eat in a restaurant renowned for its dishes and have been “forced” to leave a negative review, because maybe the waiter was rude?
Although the dishes are starred chefs, your negative review for the environment in which they are served, can seriously damage the image of the room, making the potential new customers give up to go and spend a nice evening.
You will therefore already have understood that customer feedback (and its satisfaction) is an element that can grow or destroy an activity. It takes years of hard work to build trust in a brand and get a reputation in the market niche in the work, but just a moment to ruin everything. In today’s world of social media, where information spreads instantly, it takes very little time to change the perception of a company.
Request feedback: there are at least 3 valid reasons for your company (in addition to customer satisfaction)
1) Provides you with valuable information on how to improve your product or service
Because it shows you, in the words of the client, what you like and do not like. Thanks to these guidelines you can customize and improve your product in order to solve the problems of those who are already your customers so that they are happy to continue to buy from you. Happiness that for you translates into references to their acquaintances and therefore new customers and further earnings.
2) Allows you to identify the market trends
The feedback of a customer is a question of vital importance for identifying acquisition parameters and understand market trends. It tells you that some consumers may change product A with product B if it is more up-to-date and has better technology, providing you with data on changing customer purchase habits so that you can adapt your business to new trends.
3) Let your customers know that their opinion is important to you
Because it makes them feel important and involved in creating a better product. When it comes to customer service, the most important thing to remember is that you have to actively listen to what the customer has to say. This means taking a cue from the customer’s comments and requesting more detailed feedback on what can be improved. In this way you make the customer feel really important and you will make him passionate about your product as if he were a member of your team.
How to get this result we’ll see soon…
How can I get feedback from the customer? The tools are your allies
New data collection technologies and online tools help you to easily establish and maintain large numbers of conversations that needed a huge amount of time on the part of a company up to a few decades ago. Nowadays you are lucky enough to have many different types of media available to receive feedback from.
- Monitoring Media Sources: You can understand what the end customer thinks about a product or service. Thanks to the tools made available and easily usable on social platforms, you can quickly respond to any questions that may arise to the customer and allow the same to find you very easily. In this context, comments and polls are a great source of feedback!
- Website analytics tools, which allow you to understand the habits of your users. You can easily determine which topics are the most clicked, which are the less interesting pages where there is a high rate of closing pages, which are those that are visited more often, where traffic comes from and much more. Thanks to all this you get valuable information about what your customers like and dislike.
Then we have the channels through which you can ask for more detailed feedback by dedicating specific tools to the conversation with the user or end customer.
- The meeting where you can meet your customers face to face, or calls and video calls. Both of these elements are characterized because you can request immediate and in-depth feedback. Always remember that you could get a positive response but also a heavy criticism, so be prepared for both.
- The emails. Frequently sending them to your customers can work really well. You can ask clear and concise questions to get the feedback you need to improve your products or create new ones. Emails can also be a sort of entry to a specially created survey form
- The surveys are a very important element in the acquisition feedback. They can be both simple and fast surveys and more detailed surveys. Although it is true that users prefer shorter and shorter ones to compile, they aim to create and get answers to longer and more detailed surveys. You must be able to fully understand the real problems and expectations that your customers do not yet have, which can lead to a substantial improvement in the use of your product.
- The feedback / review elements for immediate use allow you to add a context within which it will be easy for you to understand what your customer’s opinion is. The simplest example are the rating stars on the large portals such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor that allow you to immediately understand what are the upgradeable areas of your hotel or restaurant.
- If your customers agree, do not forget the good old face-to-face interview where you can ask the customer how your product or service has improved its situation, what are the most urgent problems that it still has to solve, what has appreciated more than your product, etc.
What is the best time to ask for feedback and measure customer satisfaction?
The customer’s response to the experience of using their product is important at all stages: from strategic planning to market launch, from upgrading to full redesign. If you use feedback from your customers as a polar star in the creation of your product or service right from the start, rest assured you are in the right direction. But remember not to waste time on the customer by asking questions that you do not yet have an answer to. Ask the question only when you are able to answer. If you ask for feedback when you cannot do anything to implement it on what you sell, all the effort is in vain.
You do not need to immediately follow up on any feedback, but always remember that keeping track of everything is essential so that you can have an archive and constantly improve your business, depending on what your customers’ preferences are.