How You Can Use Customer Reviews to Improve Your Business
Updated: Jul 28
You have a successful business. Your products and services resonate well with your customers, so you could run the entire thing on autopilot if you wanted to. But, should you? If you've been doing things the same way for a while and your competitors aren't, it's time to change. It might sound counter-intuitive but when facing competition or tough times in business, be willing to adapt and evolve - even if that means changing everything about how we do what we do now. Part of that lies in harnessing the power of customer feedback.
COLLECTING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Before collecting customer feedback, define exactly what you're looking for. Skipping this important step will make it harder to understand your results and may also pollute the channel used. You should consider which parts of user experience needs improvement, how data collected can be analyzed best (e.g., channels), and goals in general before proceeding with gathering information about users' experiences/opinions via customers themselves or other means such as third-party reviews that have access to more detailed insight than what a company might gather on its own through interviews alone, for example. There are several ways to gather customer feedback, including: Emails and contact forms. A staggering 43% of customers will not provide feedback to your business, simply because they think that you don't care about them. However, 81% would leave a review if they knew how quickly it was going to be responded and addressed. When a new lead joins your email list, include one question on your autoresponder. Ask them to reply, and then take the time to respond personally. Such responses are more likely candid because customers consider the private nature of emails compared with social media's public nature. Striking up interesting conversations can result in wealth of information from customers so it is worth taking some extra time out for this activity as well. Surveys. To gather data about your audience, use a combination of short surveys (one or two question polls) and longer full-length surveys. Don't waste time asking questions that won’t help you achieve your end goal – ask open ended questions one at a time to get the most relevant information. If using a rating system, keep it consistent and avoid bias/emotional charged statements. Segment audiences with demographic information so they are targeted correctly then offer them some sort of discount/freebie for completing the survey as well. Usability testing. To use this method, start with the question “What would your best friend ask to fully understand how you work?” Then build a feature or process that answers those questions. This is useful because it can help uncover issues customers don't know they're struggling with and gets features just right for their needs. Social listening. On social media, business can engage customers by listening to what they're saying. They should reply quickly and effectively so that the customer feels heard. Website Analytics. Using analytics, you can track which parts of your website get the most traffic in order to improve them. You’ll learn how long customers are staying on each page as well their origin and next destination. For example, if you're using an FAQ page to help address customer service, looking at the amount of time people spend there and their bounce rate (how quickly they leave after arriving) can determine whether or not your questions are being answered properly. If short visits occur on a webpage with high bounce rates - something is missing; but longer visits mean that information was likely given which will lower the site's visitors' bounces from said pages. Comment boxes. Maybe you don't want to add comment boxes throughout your website, but having them is a great way for users to provide feedback without interrupting their web experience. Your staff won’t have to monitor these right away and can collect the information later on while making decisions.
Online reviews. Monitor review sites to find out what people are saying about you. Address negative comments right away and improve your customer service in order manage your online reputation. Thank reviewers for their time and feedback, whether positive or negative!
To better know your customers' needs and desires, seek feedback throughout the sales process. You can use website analytics as well as social listening to see how they respond from first contact through post-sale follow up/customer service interactions.
Surveys can be helpful in the beginning and end of a process. They are effective when trying to find out what customers want from your product or service, how they use it after buying it, etc. The more points of customer feedback you have, the clearer picture you'll develop about their business as well as yours at that moment. When possible collect data in real-time for an accurate view since things change quickly so this allows both businesses/customers to make changes accordingly if needed.
MANAGING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
With the plethora of customer feedback available, you must have a centralized platform to collect and manage it all. A customer relationship management (CRM) platform allows this by helping keep track of what customers are doing when they interact with your business: which ones need attention from you most or whether there are any trends that can help improve future interactions.
By automating tasks, employees are able to be more efficient and productive. They know what's going on with a customer at any given time so they can work together in order to keep the customers happy through tracking response times which provides insight into who is the most productive employee thus rewarding them for doing an excellent job.
USING YOUR FEEDBACK
Customer feedback tells companies what customers want and how to best provide solutions. By taking this into consideration, businesses can make improvements or additions in products or services for the customer's benefit.
The cost of acquiring a new customer is six to seven times more than keeping an existing one, which makes sense because you want your customers happy. Customers may become frustrated with your product or service or suspect the competition serves them better, so they stop doing business with you. Monitoring and using feedback keeps this from happening by adjusting what needs adjusted in order for both parties feel satisfied enough to continue working together as long-term partners.
Customers are the most important thing for a business. If customers give you feedback, make sure to listen and understand what they want so that your company can thrive.
Feedback can be shared across departments in order to improve your business. Employee feedback should also be discussed so employees know how they need to address customer concerns and reward valuable customers for their loyalty. Feedback needs to apply the most important part is ensuring that it reaches out customers so they see what you are doing with their input which will make them feel as if you care about them.