3 Reasons Why Soliciting Customer Feedback Is Vital To Business Growth
To have sustained success in business requires systematic customer feedback solicitation.
Customers have both good and bad experiences. Obviously. But, most companies are not listening, and those that are not, miss out on three powerful effects of prioritizing this feedback request initiative.
So, as you explore what best questions you should be asking your customers, here's a dive into the three benefits that make this whole feedback process worthwhile.
1 - Make Your Company Better With Customer Feedback
As diligent as we are, we still have blind spots, and that includes our organizations. Knowing we don't know it all, should encourage us to solicit the feedback from those closest to our company.
So after pulse checking the team, it's vital we have a customer feedback stream for the purpose of identifying and improving these blind spots and weak areas.
But, seeking out the feedback is emotional and places us in a state of vulnerability. We're inviting judgment.
But as hard as it may be, the fruit of asking is powerful. It validates what we know and illuminates what we don't. And while ignoring problems and denying reality may feel better at the moment, its best to embrace reality as it is so we can appropriately respond to it in a productive way.
If you're intent on creating the best business possible, recruiting your paying customers to provide feedback is essential.
2 - Invited Negative Feedback Minimizes Bad Public Reviews
Emotions are a tricky matter, and many times contribute to us saying and doing things we later regret. The best time to solicit negative customer feedback is right away (and automatically where possible). Don’t wait until they post bad reviews on social media, go directly to them. Ask them about their experience and get the details, including ones we don’t want to hear.
Because we humans want to feel heard (even when the conclusion is contrary to what we express), providing an outlet for upset customers, we have the opportunity to privately address the issue while preventing the negative words from being published online.
5 Steps For Effectively Responding To Negative Reviews (Online & Offline)
To help you navigate responding to negative reviews, here's a simple framework to structure your response.
While responding you want to address the customer, but if they've written a bad review and are unwilling to reconcile, the most important reader is a future customer. They will not only look at the bad review but also how the company handled and responded to it.
These four steps will empower you to address the current and future customer.
- Thank them for their feedback (as crazy as it might feel!).
- Acknowledge their pain (don't minimize it).
- Take ownership, apologize for shortcomings, and share your intended goal (contrast this failure with your vision).
- Make a specific offer to repair the relationship (When appropriate).
3 - Invited Positive Feedback Cultivates Raving Fans
On the flipside, we also have the opportunity to move happy customers into raving fans.
By inviting people to share their feedback, ask different questions we're helping them specifically parse out their experience. This empowers them to clearly articulate what they like and why.
When people not only think through this but write it down, their beliefs and responsive actions are more deeply anchored and expressed. From my own experiences, the process leads to greater appreciation and advocacy, something every business wants.
Improving your organization, preventing negative public reviews, and cultivate raving fans are three strong reasons to make this effort a consistent one in your organization. Now, go make it happen.
Are you soliciting customer feedback? Are these reasons enough to compel you to start the process?