A few thoughts on our favorite topics... Remember, we're all about helping you achieve your goals without being overwhelmed in the process. 

Development, Growth

March 27, 2015

Getting Feedback that Matters.

Your company can’t exist without customers. They breathe life into your business. So, how do you know if they’re happy? How do you know what they want more of? Do you know what they dislike? Did you ask them? Probably not. There’s an art to getting feedback that’s meaningful to your business. 

Know Your Customer
Do you know who your core customer is? If not, review your sales accounts and figure out the demographics. How old are they? Is it mostly men or women? Where do they live? Why do they need your product? Why do they LIKE it? Learn as much as possible about your customer. In the average business, 20% of a customer base generates 80% of the profit.  That’s your core customer, to create a persona and give them a name. They are your company’s best friend.

Throw a Party
Now that you know your core, throw them a party. You’ll get in-person feedback! Getting them to talk is the best way to get the information from customers that details the nuances of your service/product experience. If it’s a product, watch how they interact with it to gain insight. 

You don’t have to go broke, do it on a shoestring budget. Borrow a space and cater the food on a budget. Make sure it’s intimate so that you can watch people, talk to them individually and bring them together for a group discussion. Be sure to keep it light and friendly so that you get valuable feedback. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, but it does have to match your brand image.

Remove Yourself
This party is your focus group. You’ll be using them to gain insight into what they think and feel about your brand’s product/service. You want the brutal truth, so you may have to remove yourself. Customers don’t always give the brutal truth if the CEO is standing right there. 

Have friends at the party, who your focus group won’t know is affiliated with you. Have them act as new customers, who aren’t fully aware of the product or avid users of your service. 

Or try You can allow your focus group to test your product and provide instant feedback. They can even provide videos of customs speaking their thoughts to use on your website. It may be hard to hear something directly, but you have to accept the brutal truth to be great. You’ll want to use the focus group’s feedback to make sure your priorities are correct. 

Send Email
Of course, there’s always e-mail feedback. But it’s rarely done right. On average, a person receives over 75 emails a day. Well over half of those are messages they did not expect, so make sure your email appears relevant so that you can get a response. Take special care in crafting it, just as you do your product/service. It should be personal, short and have little to no graphics. Clicking on links reduces your click-through rate dramatically, so embed your question. Having to record your results by hand is a better outcome than no results that were automated. 

Be sure to tell them why you are sending the survey. Are you considering changing something they may love? Is there an upgrade in product or service ingredients? Let them know. Response rates increase when you tell someone why it’s important. 

Pick Up the Phone!
Call your customers. In today’s digital area, a phone call to a customer stands out like no other. Be sure to handle each call with care. Make sure they are friendly, professional and respectful of their time. You may get better feedback with the call than you would an e-mail survey. Your customer will be so shocked and feel instantly valued that they may spill every thought about your product/service. 

The best time to call would be after they’ve placed/received an order. You’ll be on their mind and they may be more inclined to discuss. Treat them like a dear friend, leave a personal message if they don’t pick up.

Don’t forget, once you’ve received the feedback, let them know you heard them! Let them know about the upgrades you’ll be making and be sure to thank them.  Your brand will stand out in the mind forever because you made them feel super valuable. 


-give your brand the good life-

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