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The importance of customer feedback

Good marketing is based on knowing what your customer is looking for and responding to their needs. The best way to do this is by getting feedback, from your customers. If you are unaware of your customer's needs and wants, it is unlikely that you can respond in a way that win, your customer's loyalty, for the long term. In addition, it becomes almost impossible to create an effective marketing plan, if you don't have customer feedback. The bottom line is that getting customer feedback and using it effectively can make your company, stronger and more profitable. However, many business owners are unsure of the best methods, for gathering customer feedback. Here is what you need to know about how to get customer feedback and why it is important-

  • Use a survey-This is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to gather customer feedback. When you give out a survey, you are allowing your customers to express how they really feel, about your company, and its products and services. If you are using a survey, you should also make sure to include a section, where your customers, can write in what they feel, rather then just having them answer questions. In addition, it can be helpful to use surveys on a consistent basis, rather then just occasionally. When you send out surveys consistently, you are more likely to get an accurate picture of how your company is being perceived over time and whether or not any changes that you instigated are changing your customer's perception of your company. Today, there are many companies that are using online surveys. When you use this method, you can set up a computer program that captures the data and organizes it for you. This can be done a lot faster, then someone having to input all of the collected customer feedback, by hand. A major benefit to using online surveys is that they are highly cost effective, if you do it through your own website. You may want to offer a reward of some kind, to encourage participation, by your customers. Finally, you should remember that there is time element that is attached to useful data. Try and get your customers to fill out the survey, as soon as possible after purchase.
  • Look for ways to improve customer satisfaction-Once you gather the feedback, you want to use it in ways that will make your customers happier. In addition, if you are always gathering feedback and then trying to respond to it, your customers will appreciate your efforts to satisfy them. You want to make sure that no matter how you gather customer feedback, whether through an in-store comment card, or an online survey, that you are looking for ways to make your customers more satisfied with your company, products and services. You can also rate or graph the feedback that you get, to help you see where you can improve in making your customers happier. Finally, make sure that you are looking at customer feedback, in relation to any changes that you have made. You want to be sure that your customers are happy with any changes that are going on.
  • Discover customer preferences-Customer feedback is another way to gather the preferences of your clients. You want to know if they like your hours of operation, service level, return policy etc. This is the best to discover what they are looking for. You can even use customer feedback to determine if there are changes that should be made to the products or services that you sell. Color, style, size etc. all play a definitive role in your customers preferences, so you want to make sure that you offering, what they want to buy.
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