It’s impossible to overstate the importance of listening to and learning from your clients’ feedback. The people who use your services are willing to share their opinions – it’s up to you to create an engaging and intuitive channel to generate insights.
Understanding your customer’s needs is an invaluable skill in today’s competitive business environment. By interpreting feedback and effectively tailoring your offering, you can help make your clients happier, and grow your revenue.
Giff Constable, co-author of Talking to Humans, stresses the importance of not only finding the right people to talk to when looking to improve, but also asking the right questions, and knowing what to do with the answers.
The following is a guide to help you gather feedback from your clients using specific feedback methods.
Timing is everything
Being thoughtful about when you survey your clients, it can have a dramatic impact on the data you capture. Take, for example, the hospitality industry. Hotels are trying to find the right balance between surveying customers and bothering them, hence why many of them send out shorter, mobile-friendly surveys immediately after a customer checks out. Using basic software, they can automate follow-up emails for those guests who don’t complete the survey after the first email they receive.
We recommend asking for this through a question in your clients’ survey, and then following up with a tailored set of questions. For example, for clients who recently used your services, you can specifically inquire about their experience.
Make it easy to contribute
After completing the design of your online form, ie Google Forms, send it out to your relevant clients through email and/or by publishing it on your social media channels. In order to protect the integrity of the data and ensure you are only collecting data from the clients that you are targeting, publish it to a place that only they may have access to.
Immerse yourself in the data
Next comes the most crucial part of this process: data analysis. In order to complete this step, begin by defining your survey’s KPIs.
One important survey metric is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This score is gathered by asking the question, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our services?” This is a powerful question because it gauges a customer’s overall sentiment towards your service. NPS can also indicate customer loyalty and since they are easy to understand and benchmark, they appear in most questionnaires.
However, the score doesn’t have the in-depth or actionable information that can be gleaned out of open-ended questions. It can also be a very subjective indicator, thus it’s a good idea to ask a multitude of questions and define a few metrics to align with your overall survey objective.
Immediately following the conclusion of your survey, send out a note of gratitude to your clients for their participation. Meanwhile, prepare to communicate the insights gathered from your survey back to your client and jot down how you intend to implement the feedback or the issues that were brought to light.
You can choose to install shorter programs or initiatives during this “feedback implementation process” or spur transformative cross-company action if your results indicate the need for greater change. If you come across particularly critical findings, immediately offer support to help rectify the issue at hand, while you work towards providing a long-term solution.
Some of the most successful brands have made a habit of being curious about their customers. They make sure to regularly check back with their customers and reinvent their service offering. It’s best practice to build out a timeline for subsequent feedback surveys, such as on a quarterly or half-yearly basis.