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Using customer feedback to your advantage

mangivepresentation30392901.jpgFar too often business owners are afraid of the information they will get from their customers when they ask for their opinions. This is because some businesses are worried about the amount of negative feedback that is out there. Others are concerned because they feel like they will have to make steps to actually change the way they are running their business if they solicit customer feedback. If your business is centered around its customers, you need to obtain customer feedback. How else will you know what your customers want and needs are?

Customer feedback can help your business become successful by soliciting information on how your products compare to your competitors. This can give you the competitive edge you need to win over some customers that are on the edge of buying your product or your competitors. Customer feedback can also help business become profitable by learning about the current problems within the company or with the products that are already in production. Knowing what you need to change can save you millions of dollars in lost production costs and lost inventory costs. So how can you get customer feedback? It's pretty simple, here are some tips that may help you get started:

  • Ask for customer information when the customer is in your store. Give them a quick survey card to fill out. This survey card must be brief since most customers don't want to spend more than a minute or two on the survey.

  • Ask for customer information in person. While you are checking them out of the store, ask them a few quick questions like "how was your shopping experience today?" or "what can we do to make the product better?"

  • Ask for customer information online. This is a simple way to get some great feedback. Provide a link at the bottom of your receipts where your customers can go to fill out information. Ask your customers for their honest opinion and offer to enter their name in a drawing for an expensive product or for a nice cash prize.

Since you are asking your customers for their opinion, you'd better have a thick skin. Asking for an honest opinion is always a risk because customers will criticize you for things that they don't like. You need to be open to negative feedback because this is the easiest way to improve your company weaknesses. Several businesses are actually losing customers because they don't know about their weaknesses.

Asking for customer opinions means you need to keep your surveys brief. As stated previously, customers don't want to spend more than a couple minutes taking a survey unless they are being paid for it. Make the questions short and provide them with some easy answers. Instead of writing an essay questionnaire, write a multiple choice one. Do some questions like "how do we rate on a scale of 1 to 10?" If you need some detailed answers, you may need to consider paying your customers for their time. There are some other companies you can hire to send out the surveys for you. This is a great way to get all your information, but it is far pricier and the information may not always come from people that have shopped at your store.

After the surveys are complete, make changes and let your customers know about them. Your customers want to know that the time they spent answering the questions was for a goo reason. If your customers can see that you actually used the information they gave you, they will have a stronger connection to your company and this will compel them to keep shopping with your company.

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