Taking criticism is a difficult part of being a business owner – it can be quite disconcerting to be told from an outside source that something might be negatively affecting a client relationship. Although it might not feel the best, collecting feedback from people about your business is among the most valuable information you can get to grow your business.
In this article, we will be examining just how important feedback is when growing a business as well as outline what kind of questions you should be asking to get the best information when data mining through feedback.
Benefits of Customer Feedback
It should come as no shock that feedback can help to identify weaknesses in a business model or product. What business professionals do not always pinpoint are the nitty-gritty specifics of how they can use feedback to benefit the company and encourage it to flourish. Below, are 6 specific ways feedback can help your business grow.
How feedback helps businesses advance:
- It increases customer loyalty and retention rates
- It helps correct existing practices that simply aren’t working
- It improves public reviews that can draw new clients
- It gives insight into new products and service perceptions
- It can be used to collect valuable data
- It places the business in the client’s shoes
Most Valuable Feedback Questions
Actionable customer feedback is the first step to solving plenty of business problems that may go unnoticed by internal teams. In order to collect feedback, you first must know how to ask for customer feedback. There are a few key areas that you will want to cover whether you are reaching out through surveys, social media or any other customer feedback tool.
1. What is the business doing well?
Identifying strengths through the eyes of customers is the best way to pinpoint areas that can be marketed more heavily or possibly expanded upon. These are areas that clients have identified as an asset and something that your organization is doing well enough to catch their attention with.
2. What can the business do better?
Just as it is important to know the strengths of your business, it is also important to acknowledge the weaknesses. By pinpointing where your company is falling short, you will be able to make the strides towards improving this area and potentially flipping it from a weakness to a strength.
3. How well are employees performing?
Customers are the ones dealing with your employees in client-facing situations. How well are they representing your company? Collecting opinions on your employees from your clients is a way to reward great work and weed out weak links.
4. What changes should be prioritized in the business?
While you might not necessarily ask a client this question directly, you can narrow down the answer to this one by looking at the data you’ve collected from all of your questions. You can use the responses to gauge what areas are overall suffering in your business. Once these areas have been identified, they can be ranked in order from most serious to least worrisome based on how many clients have identified the area as a problem.
5. What other options were considered for the same service/product?
How does a company end up in a dire situation? They don’t pay attention to their competitors.
While you can keep an eye on the perceived competition, customers know better than anyone who are the actual competitors to be aware of. By asking this question, you can identify businesses that you may not have realized were competitors.
6. How likely is a person to refer the business to a friend?
This is what is referred to as a Net Promoter Score (NPS) and can give you a clear look at how your clients feel about your products or services. People will only recommend a product/ service to a friend if they believe in its quality and usefulness.
The answer to this question can be quite telling. If they like the product and say “yes” then you can assume that your product is of good quality. However, if you get a high percentage of customers answering that they would not recommend your product or service then it is time to delve deeper into fixing unresolved issues.
Turn Customer Feedback Into Long-Term Business Growth
Once all of the data has been collected, it is time to put the results into action in order to reap the benefits that come along with surveying client experiences. By amassing the data from your clients you are able to identify those that can become advocates of the company.
Nurture these potential advocates with personalized touches that keep them excited about your brand. They will, in time, refer you to other potential clients and bring you new business organically. As you turn customers into advocates you are also increasing retention. Less churn saves your business money as onboarding a new client can cost over 25% more than keeping current customers
Just as you need to identify the advocates, you must also identify those who are unhappy. By pinpointing what is making clients unhappy and making the necessary changes to fix it, you are able to reduce customer churn. With time you can even convert unhappy customers into the best advocates.
use Feedback as a Marketing Opportunity
Feedback is a great way to break into peer-to-peer (P2P) marketing. With P2P marketing, clients are doing the work for you by spreading a positive message and recruiting new customers.
This can be brought on in the form of testimonials, which can be used for your website, reviews on public-facing forums such as Yelp or Google, or through an influencer’s own medium.
do you want to take your feedback a step further?
You might have a system to collect customer feedback seamlessly, and a team that is ready to implement necessary changes for growth; however, without a Chief Operations Officer, you might not have the leadership necessary to carry out the right changes to grow your business. Kaplan Executive Search provides Chief Operating Officer Recruitment Services to help you hire a talented c-level executive that will help your business improve feedback scores in the future. Learn more about how we can help you the right c-level executive for your business here.