Starting a business without customer feedback is like going on a wilderness trek without a map, compass, or GPS. You are going to get lost and have a very bad experience. No matter how good your idea may seem, you can’t know what your customer is going to think of it until you ask them. That feedback needs to be objective, so friends and family don’t count. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools that can help you do this.
Feedback surveys should be part of your customer relation toolkit from day one. Feedback surveys can consist of two types of questions. The first type concerns feedback about a product/service. These questions focus on whether your business is satisfying the customers needs. The second type concerns customer service. These questions focus on how your customer feels that they are treated by your employees.
Unfortunately, long surveys are annoying to customers. In fact, customers prefer to avoid surveys in general. If you are offering a free product, they are often willing to answer longer surveys. For a regular customer, you are better off asking 2–3 question surveys. You can increase survey participation by offering a small discount or rewards points for completing it.
Net promoter scores are metrics based on a customer’s answer to the question, “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to others?” A basic net promoter score is calculated by taking the percentage of responses that indicate they are highly likely to recommend and subtracting the percentage of responders that indicate that they are very likely to not recommend. Knowing who would actively promote and who would actively oppose your business is very important. NPS software divides responders into groups based on their responses, allowing you to more easily sort through feedback.
Anyone that has ever bought anything from your company is going to have an opinion about it. You should always be asking for reviews from these people. Not only will you learn what they like and dislike, but you can also use these reviews to promote your company. Most checkout systems require an email address to be provided for confirmation purposes. Include an invitation and link to leave a review in your confirmation emails or in a follow-up email shortly thereafter. Don’t be afraid of a few negative reviews. If you respond appropriately, you can often get the customer to change their mind and their review.
Receiving feedback is only half of the game. The other half is deciding what to do with it. Try to read between the lines to find the real problems that customers are experiencing. Many may suggest solutions to the problems they experience. Take these suggestions into consideration. You want your solution to address the cause of the problems, not just treat the symptoms. For positive feedback, make sure that you keep up the good work.
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