Why customer feedback should be any company's guiding compass - ClickZ

Customer feedback is the most valuable currency for continuous growth, yet most leave fortunes unclaimed within plain sight. Simply querying customers en masse overlooks embedded insights primed to escalate performance. To maximize returns, adopt an excavator’s mindset — equipped to unearth specific gems aligned to strategic goals.

Consider each customer response like an archeological artifact — seemingly commonplace upon initial inspection but potentially hiding Game Changing clues about how to propel your business. The advocating social influencer represents an unearthed foundation to expand word-of-mouth distribution. Negative process feedback contains traces of friction that, once eliminated, smooths the entire customer journey.

To determine where to dig, clearly define the institutional questions executive leadership seeks to answer through customer feedback. Then craft surgical tools — surveys, interviews etc. — designed to extract only relevant gems that inform those specific issues. Continuously refining this process scrutinizes the right clues at the right time to guide targeted evolution.

Adopting an explorer’s mentality turns customer feedback into an investment into perpetual enterprise enhancement and channels this often overlooked asset into the most valuable currency in business.

Timing and Audience Selection

Timing is a critical factor when sourcing customer feedback. Poor timing can negatively impact response rates, particularly for purchase review requests that arrive before the customer has had an opportunity to try the product or service.

For instance, a review of purchase journeys in the MailCharts database found that at least 10% of feedback requests were sent before the delivery confirmation email. If you send delivery confirmation emails, it’s advisable to wait at least a week to give customers time to check their purchases and ensure the email was delivered as promised.

Selecting your (Read more...) with care is another crucial aspect of sourcing customer feedback. This doesn’t mean you should only send surveys or review requests to the people most likely to give you five stars. But you’ll get more reliable feedback if you think about which request emails you send to whom, when, and why.

The ‘What’s in it for me?’ Factor and Incentives

Transparency is key when asking for customer feedback. Always explain why you’re asking for their opinion. But don’t stop there. If you want to get a wide range of replies, not just from your biggest fans or perpetual complainers, show them what they can gain by answering. Be as specific as possible. Explain how their comments will be used to improve a process, help you develop new products, or allocate resources – whatever can help your company serve them better.

As part of the ‘What’s in it for me?’ factor, your strategy and your budget should drive your decision whether to offer an incentive to persuade more people to complete your feedback requests. A classic offer is a 20% discount or cash applied against a purchase. But consider offering something that doesn’t take a direct hit on your profit margin.

Making it Easy and Using the Right Tone

Make it as easy as possible for customers to complete the survey. One way to do this is to use a simple scale the customer can use to pick an appropriate response. Another way to streamline the process is to use AMP for email, which allows email users to respond directly from the email instead of clicking through to a landing page.

As with all of your other emails, your feedback requests should use a tone that aligns with your brand and other email programs. The tone can range from formal to informal, depending on your brand’s personality and the nature of the feedback request.

In conclusion, sourcing customer feedback is a delicate process that requires careful planning and execution. By considering the purpose, timing, audience, incentives, ease of completion, and tone of your feedback requests, you can gather valuable insights that can drive your business’s growth and success.

Remember, customer feedback is not just about gathering data; it’s about understanding your customers’ needs, expectations, and experiences. It’s about building a relationship with your customers, showing them that their opinions matter, and that their feedback can make a real difference. So, approach the process with care, respect, and a genuine desire to learn and improve. Your customers will appreciate it, and your business will benefit from it.

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