Get an idea of what you should expect from customer feedback software including how much costs, ease of use, overall benefits and more.
It's a vulnerable thing, running a business.
Your success - your ability to pay your employees, feed your family, keep the Netflix coming - all hinges on the whims of your customers. If they don't show up every day, willing to exchange their hard-earned money for your services, you've got nothing but a bunch of office supplies you don't need.
So even when those customers are pushy, demanding and insist on texting while you're trying to talk to them, you need them.
And while you may not personally like every person who walks through the doors (we're talking about you, Karen), you should appreciate each and every one. Every one of those customers has something valuable to give you: feedback.
A Feedback Parable
In the business world, getting feedback is a little like eating your vegetables. You may not always enjoy it, but it sure is good for you.
Imagine you own a store that sells decorative teapots. You have a small group of loyal customers, but sales are a little sluggish so you decide to cut costs. You open at 9 a.m., but some days no one comes in until noon - so wouldn't it make sense to just open at noon? You'll save money on payroll by cutting your employees' hours, and surely your customers won't care.
Then the backlash starts. One of your most loyal customers is upset that her niece's best friend's neighbor - also one of your employees - suddenly lost three hours of pay. Another customer planned to buy 20 teapots to give as gifts to her longtime coworkers on her last day of work, but when she pulled up to the store at 11 a.m., it was closed.
Let's say that both women, and other displeased customers, take to Yelp to complain about your sudden change. Now word is spreading that the teapot shop doesn't care about its employees or customers, and other people are vowing to buy their teapots elsewhere.
If only you had asked your customers for their input before making any changes. They might have told you that they wanted you to expand your merchandise to sell tea cups and loose tea, too, or that your cranky assistant manager keeps them from coming in more often.
Addressing either one of those might have increased your sales, making it unnecessary to cut the store's hours.
But you didn't know that because you didn't ask. Now there's friction between you and your customers. Hopefully, they'll give you another chance, but some may vow never to buy your teapots again.
Okay, you (probably) don't sell teapots, and you know that business decisions can't always be made just to please the customers. You're the expert when it comes to making great pizza, or fixing foundations, or whatever it is that you do.
But your customers are the experts when it comes to using your business, and in order to get more people to use your business, you have to find out what's working - and more importantly, what's not.
Making a habit of asking for honest feedback from your customers, and using it to improve your business, is one of the simplest ways you can stand out from your competition.
It used to be labor intensive to get that feedback, but now you have the option of using software that completely automates the process.
Customer Feedback Software
Quite simply, customer feedback software reaches out to your customers to request their - you guessed it! - feedback.
There are several options on the market, and they work in different ways. Some types of software send email surveys to your customers while others allow you to create online surveys and email links to customers or insert quick surveys right onto your website. Most of the software options on the market exists to bring in feedback for businesses to use, but don't do much beyond that.
Because that feedback is so important but so time-consuming to collect manually, this type of software is hugely beneficial for companies of all sizes and types. If you have more than 10 customers, you'll find that using an automated system is more efficient than contacting each person individually.
Bare-bones plans start at around $20 per month. As with all things in business, though, you get what you pay for. The more customers you have and the more tools you need, the more you'll pay - but it's possible to set up a top-of-the-line software program for under $100 per month.
Considering how long it would take an hourly employee to collect feedback from hundreds of customers, using software is a no-brainer.
The Right Choice
If you're going to spend money on a monthly software subscription, you'd better get your money's worth. Using an automated system like ReputationStacker, you can do a heck of a lot more than just send your customers surveys.
ReputationStacker not only reaches out to your customers to get their feedback, but it also includes tools that make it easy to take action on the feedback you get. It has the added benefit of segmenting your happy customers and getting them to post reviews on the online review sites of your choice, which leverages feedback in a way that greatly helps grow your business by attracting new customers.
Feedback on Feedback
Getting a consistent stream of honest feedback allows you to improve and grow your business. Calling or emailing each customer individually takes time you don't have, so using customer feedback software is a smart choice no matter the size of your business.
Use ReputationStacker to get that feedback, analyze it and get more online reviews for your business.