The crux of any business is its customer base. Without customers, a business can cease to function; maintaining positive customer relationships is pivotal to keep them coming back. But how do you know the general opinion of the public towards your company? The most direct way of retrieving this information is through customer feedback.
Customer feedback is key to listening to the voice of your customers, identifying your company’s pain points, and better understanding the needs of your customer base. Businesses can leverage feedback to improve their customer, update their product offering, and adapt to emerging trends. Customer feedback can come through various different sources: email surveys, social media interactions, customer satisfaction score (CSAT),online reviews, among many others.
With all these different avenues for customer feedback to come in, where should a company’s attention be focused? Here is a summary of the most common forms of customer experience collection, and some advice on how to best utilize them.
One of the most easily accessible forms of customer feedback is via a rating system. There are various different forms of this system, ranging from a scale of 1 to 10, or a five-star rating, used by companies such as Amazon and Uber. With so much access to online products, customers are not wanting to spend more time looking for a product than they need to, whilst also being able to vouch for its quality.
Scale ratings are an ideal form of feedback because they’re fast and require minimal effort on behalf of the consumer. That is why consumers are more likely to provide feedback via a star rating than an extensive review.
Not everyone has the time to go through hundreds of long written comments, so the rating system saves time for your customers, increasing their satisfaction with the page. It also allows for the business to quickly see what products are well-liked by the masses and which may need some improvement.
Written reviews provide a platform for customers to discuss what they liked and maybe didn’t like about a product and offer a chance for the company to see this and improve. At first, it may seem nerve-wracking to have potentially negative opinions on your website, but including all reviews — the good and the bad — allows your customers to know that you genuinely value their feedback, as well as giving you the chance to improve your products.
Websites such as Trustpilot offer a specific space where people can leave written reviews detailing their experiences with the company. Each reviewer is given a profile on Trustpilot, making it so other customers can see whether this is a person who reviews often, and whether they share similar sentiments to them.
Show that you’re listening
Apple’s App Store offers a “Developer Response” option to all reviews, where the developer of the app can communicate with the reviewer to answer any questions and/or update them on any changes being made because of their review. This makes the company more approachable when you can see the human side of things, and understand that there is a real person behind everything made online.
By showing your customers that you’re listening you are influencing them to engage with your company more, creating a stronger company-consumer relationship.
Feedback you should be wary of
Knowing how to listen to your customers is important, but what’s also important is learning when to stop listening. With every product, company, idea, there are always going to be people who don’t like it. No matter what you change, no matter what you do to improve, there will be people who won’t be satisfied.
Additionally, there are occasions where your product can be ‘review-bombed’, meaning a significant amount of people can leave zero-star reviews, quickly reducing your product’s score. There is often an external reason for this happening, which may have nothing to do with the product being reviewed. Review-bombing can be utilized when people believe that a company won’t respond any other way, and can be a vehicle for expressing some kind of displeasure towards the company. This is another reason why it’s important to keep listening to your consumers.
This is why it’s important to have a general understanding of your consumer base, so if a big change occurs, you’re able to notice it. Keeping track of the overall sentiment towards your company is pivotal in understanding why dramatic changes in opinion occur.
These are just some ways you can listen to your customers and understand their general thoughts and feelings towards your company.
In the end, the best way to listen to your customers is to offer multiple different methods of communication. Different people respond better to different methods of response, for example, younger generations are responding more to quick and accessible reviews, such as rating systems. Each demographic has a different form of feedback they respond better to, so having varied options lets you engage with the most possible.
Diversifying your avenues of customer feedback allows for your company to maximize customer engagement and therefore increase customer satisfaction.