Do you know what your customers think of you?
Understanding your products comes second to understanding your customers. There is so much you can learn about your business if you simply ask your past customers. They will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. They have no reason to mislead you, they already became a customer and there’s no reason to give any fluff. You’ll get the most honest feedback from your customers. It’s hard to put a value on this information, but understand this is like having a secret recipe. This will unlock other areas of possible revenue, so let’s discuss how to access your previous customers feedback.
If you are in the retail industry like a small boutique or a restaurant, the easiest place to check reviews from your past customers would be looking up your business on yelp.com. You’ll get the most honest feedback from your customers on review sites like these. The customer is more opt to give their honest opinion because this is more anonymous versus you asking them face-to-face about their feedback. If you wanted to go even further you might want to look up your company on twitter.com by using hash tags. Twitter is a great community with a wealth of information, and if you don’t know how to use it you better learn! The comments and quotes from past customers will be better versus you speaking directly to the past customers face to face.
If your business is in a service oriented industry like a CPA or insurance, you won’t find much activity on yelp.com or twitter.com. So you will need to do some research on other well known review web sites. BBB or also known as the Better Business Bureau is a great site to see your reviews. If you’re looking for positive comments you wont find it on the BBB.org web site, it’ll only show the negative feedback, and some small notes on why the customer was not pleased with your service. Hopefully you won’t have to see any negative feedback, but if you do they will allow you to resolve the issue you had with the past customer.
As you already know, we are in the lending business and it too is in the service industry. We use other strategies to get feedback from our past customers. Once we fund a working capital loan for a small business, a manager will typically contact the client to do a quick customer service survey. The survey is 5 questions; we kept the questions short and sweet. Remember, you just need to hit the main points when conducting the survey. Make sure when the customer is giving you the feedback you listen and do not interrupt. It’s natural to fill in silence with something like another question, but keep quiet and allow the customer to gather their thoughts and freely speak their mind. Do not try to persuade or guide them on what you want to hear, just listen and take notes. Another way you can get honest feedback is by either mailing or emailing a survey questionnaire to past clients. There might be a lower response of returns, but when you do get them they will more than likely be very accurate and honest opinions.
Just because you got the feedback, doesn’t mean you’re done. Remember; now that you are armed with another great tool make sure you implement changes after you have gathered enough feedback if you feel it’s needed. Take appropriate actions and continuously gather feedback and reviews.