Why You Want a Report Card From Your Customers

Customers carry a great amount of “intel” about  your business, how you are doing, what you could be doing better, and even what new services you should offer. Having a good customer report card can keep you in the know about how your business is doing and what your customers’ preferences are.

Getting customer feedback comes in all shapes and sizes, including:

  • Short and long surveys (online and paper forms)
  • Focus groups
  • In-depth customer interviews
  • Comment or feedback cards
  • Online reviews

The information you gain from these outlets is invaluable (better than gold!) and can help your business:

  • Learn more about your customers’ likes and dislikes. Ask customers about specific products or services to get the inside scoop on what your business is doing well and what needs improvement. You can ask customers to complete a short survey after a purchase or follow-up a week or two after the purchase for their thoughts about the product. No one likes hour long surveys, so shorter is definitely better! Choose 4-5 questions and keep it under 10 minutes. A friendly follow-up phone call can also be effective to get more in-depth information and feedback – it gets them talking!
  • Show customers that their opinions are valued. We all like some love, and attention, right? Asking your customers for their opinions and ideas sends the message that you value their experiences and opinions. Customers are treasure troves of great ideas and can give exceptional insight into new services or products that your business can offer. Don’t forget your manners! Be sure to always thank customers for their time when completing a survey of any kind, or after providing feedback (both positive and negative).
  • Find creative ways to improve. No business is perfect – we all can improve. Naturally, customer preferences change, and you don’t want to get blindsided by this. Monitoring customer concerns/questions is a quick and affordable way to keep up-to-date with the current market. This includes reviewing online comments posted by customers – both positive and negative feedback. Keep in mind, that it is natural to have unhappy customers, but how their complaint is handled is what is key. If you dismiss unhappy customers, this can be detrimental to your business’ brand. Take a softer approach and listen to customer complaints. There’s great lessons to be learned this way! Use their complaint as a learning tool to find ways to prevent customer dissatisfaction in the future.

If you haven’t checked in with your customers recently, now is a good time to get a temperature check to see how your business is doing. Remember, customer feedback, of any kind, can be a valuable tool to grow and improve your business – plus it’s free!
When you reach out to your customers, let us know what you learn. And, of course, feel free to share any creative ways you have used to check in with your customers, by leaving a comment below. We’re all ears (and eyes!)

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