Have you ever asked your customers how you can improve your service?
The majority of businesses are too scared to ask their customers what they really think about their product and/or service, but the fact is that your customer will feel valued and appreciated if you listen to their opinion and learn from their feedback. No matter how small a suggestion, it can lead to greater overall satisfaction for your client/customer, which is your ultimate goal… right!
Suppose you don’t ask your customers for feedback and you miss something vital like …
- we would really like regular advice from you regarding a specific product or service
- we would like you to stay in regular contact with us to advise about specials or when a new product is launched
- we would buy more from you if products were packaged together, saving us money
- we would prefer to do business with you via email rather than the phone
- if you were open late on Thursday evening, it would make it easier for us to discuss our needs with you
- if you could come to us, we would have more time available to spend with you discussing our needs
- it would be more efficient for us to order using a phone app
- paying via paypal or invoice would be better than COD and cheque
- you really should get a website, so we can send referrals
- and so on
If you are not listening and learning from your current customers you are missing out on valuable, potentially profit pulling, feedback to help you grow and improve your business. Here are some ideas how to improve service.
Survey (online, phone or email) your customers by asking specific questions or offer them an open opportunity to tell you about any grievance, suggestion or compliment. Ask if you can use that information for training purposes and for testimonials on your website, shopfront wall, brochures etc.
You may also like to offer your customers an incentive to provide feedback if you believe that will get a higher response rate.
What can you offer your customers that you know they would like to receive for FREE. The chance to win one of your products or services maybe?
If you have a customer database use it to send out an email with a short survey to ask them about your business. You can either embed the questions directly into the email or use a FREE online survey site (advantage is you can report on feedback and it is easier to collect data); using that option would take you about 20 minutes to setup.
If you don’t have a customer database and your records are all manual, invest in a typist to input the information into a database or hire an independent telemarketer to contact individual clients and obtain feedback over the phone.
Below is a list of suggestions, limiting to 5-7 brief questions. Below is a suggestion, your business may not suit these questions, but write your questions to help you get a direct answer (here is a link you might find includes a lot of helpful information also):
Hello [customer’s first name]
At [your business name] we are currently undergoing some significant improvements to our products and/or services. We value your opinion and would really appreciate you taking 5 minutes to complete a brief survey. PLUS as a bonus for helping us improve our service to you, you could also win 1 of  [description] prize packs. Ask:
- are you happy with the quality of the service/products we provide (if not, please explain why)
- what other products/services would you use if we were to provide them
- are there any areas of improvement you can suggest
- what do you like about our products/services
- have you received your deliveries/deliverables on time and in good order
You can then ask:
- would like to receive an advice based newsletter
- would like to receive a regular promotional offers and new product updates.
You can tailor your questions for a specific product or service or generalise. When asking about the level of satisfaction offer choices that match the question (eg. 1. answer options could be absolutely, somewhat, not really add space for comments or a scale from 1 to 5)
I would love to hear your suggestions and any experience you had with customer feedback, so please leave a comment below. This article has also been published on Bizymoms.