If you want your business to thrive, you need to know what your most important customers want from you. Unfortunately, getting this kind of feedback hasn’t traditionally been very easy. The good news is that there are some valid ways to get the feedback you need in a reliable manner.
Make it Simple
While you want data from your customers, you can’t go overboard. Your surveys and feedback forms need to be as unobtrusive and easy to fill out as possible. Skip the steps where you gather absolutely all of their information and remove as many barriers to entry as possible. If the forms seem too tough, most of your would-be responders will walk away from the process.
Use the Channels They Use
Once you simplify the process, you need to make sure that it’s accessible. Utilizing SMS services for small business is key here, as doing so will allow you to send survey links directly to your user’s smartphones without requiring them to download an app or navigate to a website. It’s also a good idea to go low-tech and to provide simple comment cards that can be filled out in-store—if you make the process convenient, it’s more likely to pay off.
Incentivize the Process
It’s also a good idea to give customers a real reason to fill out your surveys and feedback forms. A great way to do this is to provide an incentive. Some businesses incentivize feedback by entering customers into a drawing, while others might give a discount or a free item any time a customer presents a filled-out survey. No matter what choice you make, giving your customers a good reason to respond will almost certain increase the volume of responses that you obtain.
Show Real Change
Finally, you’ll want to make your target customers feel like they’re actually impacting the way that your business works. If someone leaves a comment or fills out a survey, make an effort to address what they’ve said to you. In some cases, this might mean reaching out to the customer personally. In others, it might mean aggregating a number of comments and making a real change based on what you’ve read. If customers feel like feedback matters, they’re more likely to share it with you.
Remember, you don’t just want feedback—you want actionable feedback. Do what you can to get that feedback from the customers that matter the most to your business and act upon it. If you can manage that, you’ll be able to keep your most valuable customers coming back.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.