Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Nine Solutions For Gathering And Responding To Customer Feedback

With all the channels businesses can use to communicate with their core audience, it’s now easier than ever to get feedback from consumers. And whether it’s direct or indirect feedback, many consumers are more than willing to give it. But with so many channels to choose from, how can leaders decide what the most effective ways to stay informed of customer opinions are?

Here, nine leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council examine the solutions they use to gather and respond to customer feedback and explain why these solutions work so well.

1. Talk In Person Or Via Video Call

If I want to get honest customer feedback, I will always push a video call. A face-to-face meeting is the best, but during Covid a video chat could be even better because you can actually analyze their facial expressions. My basic assumption is that my client will not say what they actually feel like saying, but their body language and tone of voice will never lie. That’s why I generally try to avoid text and email communication as much as possible. Active listening and mirroring are key to getting more information. Finally, I would try to treat my client as if they were an advisor to my company and follow up with an email stating how we are going to implement their feedback with a call to action to the next steps. – Gilad Shamri, GrowthArtists.com

2. Do Regular Surveys And Interviews

Surveys and interviews are a great way to gauge what clients are really interested in. In professional services, a client-centric approach to everything we do is essential, while understanding and anticipating our clients’ needs is a significant part of our job. We also get a sense of what we are doing well and where we could perhaps offer more and improve. The way we implement these methods varies according to what we believe will give us the deepest insights. With long-standing clients, we make sure this is a rather informal process, as an integral part of our periodic discussions. On projects of limited duration, this is usually more formal, with at least two surveys conducted at the beginning and the end of our journey. – Bogdan Gecic, Gecic Law

3. Poll Clients Before A Product Launch

As an expert in crowdfunding, I believe hearing the voice of the crowd is key. When I’m launching a new product, customer feedback is crucial to have as early as possible. You don’t want to wait until after the product is out; it might be too late to change something important. Before a launch, I push customers into a survey to rank product features and benefits. For example, if a smart speaker was waterproof, had great sound and a long-lasting battery, I’d want to know which was most important. Next, I ask customers to tell me where and how they would use this product. This gives us great ideas about what kinds of photos we’d need to produce. You can also get great ideas from social media comments. Last, you want to get customer feedback in the form of price sensitivity. – Kaitlyn Witman, Rainfactory

4. Conduct Focus Groups

Focus groups and workshops are great and effective techniques for getting valid opinions, ideas and beliefs from your customers. This strategy allows you to see and understand how they feel and then be able to work toward satisfying their needs. – Chimezie Emewulu, Seamfix Limited

5. Analyze What Made Clients Leave

A big part of getting our company back on track these past couple years has been analyzing what led to clients leaving and speaking with current customers and prospects about what we can do to solve their pain points with packaging. My team or I would call customers and ask something like this, “I noticed you ordered X. What made you order that particular product?” and then get a sense of why and how they are using it. Where do they store it? What occasion made them purchase it? Was there anything they wish could be improved? You’ll be surprised how many clients will give you incredible insight if you just ask, and the result has been a 15% YOY revenue increase over the past 12 months despite challenges faced from Covid-19. – Brent Hughes, Cardinal Boxes

6. Set Up Proper Review Monitoring

Set up proper review monitoring and utilize customer service tools. Cluster customer feedback in a single location. If possible, reach out to the customer directly in order to better understand the situation. Prioritize the feedback according to importance and urgency. Assuming the feedback is valid, schedule your road map accordingly and use the feedback to make your product better. Not all customer feedback has merit. You first need to understand if fixing the critique is in line with your company’s vision and mission. For instance, our brand is made in the USA. We do receive the occasional price complaint, but we choose to pay higher prices for a USA-made product because that fits our mission. – Michael Fellows, Patriot Crew

7. Leverage Social Listening Tools

We found that social media is a huge part of gathering and listening to customer feedback. Social listening can give you access to an untapped market of candid feedback from customers. Besides direct comments or mentions on social networks that your business can look at to collect customer feedback, there are other networks that include built-in polling tools. Social media is the best tool for natural engagement to ensure that your team’s product decisions are aligned with the purchasing behaviors of the community. – Liana Zavo, ZavoMedia Group

8. Listen To Your Sales Calls

One of the most powerful places you should monitor to understand customer needs is your sales calls. A properly structured sales call will do a great job diagnosing the customer’s situation before you pitch your product or service. In the discovery section of the sales call, a good sales rep will ask questions to understand the prospect’s situation, the pain or problems they are experiencing and then dive into what it’s costing the prospect to stay stuck in their current state. By recording your sales calls and having both your marketing and product teams listen to these calls, you will find patterns and trends that can help you make improvements to your product and refine your marketing message so it resonates more effectively. – Joe Stolte, The Tractionology Group

9. Assign Dedicated Account Managers

We provide software development services and we have a dedicated account manager who would randomly call existing customers and get their feedback on the team’s performance. This works really great for us. We get the feedback from the customer and the customer feels connected. Our ticket size is large, so we have to get the feedback personally; using any software or tool will not work. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

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