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How to collect useful customer feedback

How to collect useful customer feedback

Be honest, how often do you ask your customers for feedback? Anne Williamson, founder of Customer Love offers her tips and hints to help understand what your customers really think about you!

I used to work in a mail order company where we surveyed every customer who placed an order. The feedback surveys were a great way for us to see how customers felt about our products, the service they received and for generating product suggestions. 

Here's my tips on how to collect meaningful feedback for your business. And, don’t be afraid of negative comments, as this is where you have a chance to make a real impact, whether that’s through developing new products or improving processes.

Keep your questionnaire short

Your survey should focus on the products/services your customer has purchased. What do you really want to know about your customer’s experience?

Make the survey as user-friendly as possible. Consider using smiley faces for ratings and then open questions for the next few questions.

Try and limit your questions to no more than 10 and ideally seven questions.

Ask questions that give you real feedback

Do you receive feedback that says ‘the service/product was great’?

This is down to the quality of the questions asked.

Try questions like:

  • What one thing will you do differently as a result of today’s session
  • How could we improve?
  • What else would you like to see us offer?
  • How will you use the product?
  • What impact has the product/service had on you/your business?

These will evoke answers that are useful for your business.

Try using different methods to collect feedback

There are so any ways to collect feedback it’s not just a case of sending a link to a survey. If you are in front of a customer ask if they will answer a couple of questions on film – video using your mobile phone.

Consider running focus groups with a group of customers – especially if feedback is about a new product or service. While emails with links to surveys are great it is also good to phone clients (or ask someone else to phone them) and ask for feedback.

What if people don’t reply?

Remember that when your feedback request is received the timing might not be right. Send a reminder in a week or so.

Consider whether your email asking for feedback was chatty enough, with a real reason why you would like feedback. Using emotive words will appeal more.

Think how you could adapt the following sentences:

  • We’d love to know how you felt after recently purchasing from us.
  • We look at each and every response and get together as a team to review what customers have fed back to us.
  • Customer feedback helps us adapt our business. Please be brutally honest as without your feedback we are oblivious if things weren’t quite right. 

About the author

Anne Williamson May22Anne Williamson is founder of Customer Love. Anne works with businesses who are looking to increase customer retention rates and develop improved customer relationships. She helps to improve customer experience processes and communication though customer experience workshops, customer journey mapping sessions and website audits.

Customer Love is a member of Boost & Co, which includes additional public and private sector organisations that can help businesses grow.

Boost is helping Lancashire businesses thrive.
We have a range of funded support programmes and a team of business advisers you can talk to.
To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.

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