Are feedback loops really worth the effort?

What are your top weaknesses?  What do your customers just love about you?  If you take growing your business seriously, then you have your own ideas about the answer to these questions.  Unless you’re regularly and consistently asking your customers for feedback, then you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity.  Let’s take a look at three ways that customer feedback loops help your business.

Are you asking your customers for their feedback?

Are you asking your customers for their feedback?

A customer feedback loop is simply a system for collecting feedback about your service or product.  Without feedback from your customers, you simply aren’t seeing your business from all angles, and as a result you are missing out on tremendous opportunities to improve your business and your bank account.  Customer feedback loops are usually implemented in the form of a couple of questions that are asked of the customer after the sale.

What needs attention?

This is the area that most people think of when they think of customer feedback.  Improvement is about identifying areas of weakness and making changes to improve customer satisfaction.  The perspective of your customers is unique and as helpful as the input from your friends and employees may be, there is no substitute for the perspective of those who are paying you.  This isn’t about opening up a gripe session, this is about finding out what things you could change that would significantly improve the customer experience.  Not every suggestion is one that you need to act on – some may not be reasonable or practical.  Prioritize your attention by focusing first on the low hanging fruit.  What changes can you make that provide the biggest impact for your customers and are the easiest for you to implement?  Start there and then work your way toward the improvements that are worth the investment of the extra time and effort required for implementation.

What does everyone love about us?

Customer feedback isn’t only about identifying the things that need attention in your business, it is also important to identify what’s working great.  There are two benefits to finding out what your customers really like about you.  Firstly, it is encouraging and – let’s face it – sometimes it’s just nice to hear what someone loves about you.  Keep a record of this kind of positive feedback and review it after a rough day or look at it in the morning to help get you energized for the day ahead.  Secondly, finding out what others really like about your product or service can highlight marketing opportunities.  Are you sufficiently featuring these benefits that you provide that your customers just love?  Often, when looking through the positive feedback, you will see that your customers have identified several strengths that your business has that you could use in your marketing as a way to differentiate your business.

Everybody loves to be heard

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.  Sometimes someone is disappointed after the sale or with your service.  Providing them with the opportunity to let you know what went wrong from their perspective is very powerful.  They’re going to talk about their experience with you and if you’ve asked them for their feedback, you’ve got an opportunity to find out what you can do to make them happy.  Asking for customer feedback in this situation gives you the opportunity for redemption.  Additionally, since we all have an internal need to feel like our voice matters, when you sincerely ask for feedback from your clients, you are increasing their feelings of loyalty toward you and building goodwill.

Implementing customer feedback loops is definitely worth the effort.  It really doesn’t take that much effort to put a system in place to ask all of your customers after the sale, what they liked and what they would like to see improved about your business.  Reviewing this feedback and then acting on it will improve your relationship with your customers and that will improve your checking account balance.

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