Listening to your clients always is the only way to guarantee that you are providing a product or services that meet their needs. Customer feedback gives business owners and marketers actionable insight on how to improve their business, their products, or the overall customer experience. However, consumers can’t be bothered to leave their feedback, be it through email, social media, or the business website, if the business owners fail to encourage them appropriately to do so. Here are some useful ways you can encourage customers to provide feedback and use it to improve customer service and ultimately boost your sales.
Provide Live Chat
Consumers are more likely to volunteer reviews, ask questions, and air grievances when they know that they will be answered immediately. Kissmetrics reports that 44% of online consumers report that live chat support is one of the most important features a website can offer. Live chat improves response time, makes your customers feel valued, and gives you a platform to make inquiries about your business. It is also easy to implement – all you need is a customer care team that can handle your customers’ concerns professionally. You don't, however, have to provide 24-hour support. If your team is small, you can provide an alternative contact form to be filled when you are unavailable.
Stay on Top of Your Social Media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool and one of the best platforms for obtaining customer feedback. A significant proportion of potential clients will trust the reviews provided on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other sites before purchasing a product from you. Customers leave complaints, compliments, and questions on social media, and these can make or break your customer retention efforts. Monitoring all your social media touch points is critical. Respond promptly to consumers, develop relationships with them by posting engaging content, and encourage them to share their experience with your business and products.
Sometimes customers need some form of motivation to push them to give feedback about your business. Note that this strategy does not involve buying reviews from individuals who haven’t interacted with the enterprise or its products. Incentives encourage consumers to take time out of their busy schedules and respond to you. For example, you can offer weekly or monthly giveaways, gifts, discounts, free delivery services, and other incentives to random reviewers as a way of showing appreciation. However, the incentives should not be directed at customers with the best reviews, as this can lead to false reviews which may discredit your business to potential clients.
Ask for Feedback
You need to make sure that you are asking customers for feedback as much as possible. Of course, this does not involve filling your website and social media platforms with many call-to-action posts or pleading for reviews, but you can approach it in a more friendly and personal way. If you're at a convention or tradeshow you can utilize QuickTapSurvey to create customized surveys and collect responses from current and prospective customers. Also, remember to thank reviewers through the various platforms for volunteering information, as this will encourage them to offer more reviews in the future.
Consider keeping a list of all your customers and their emails and contacts. Send them an email requesting for feedback after or before the purchase process. Most customers will be more comfortable to give an honest review in such a private environment as opposed to online responses. In your email, you can ask them to take a quick survey that will assist you to improve their experience in the future.
Jacqueline Cao is a web entrepreneur and consultant from Los Angeles, CA. Her areas of expertise include marketing, outreach and developing a content strategy for businesses.